Daylight Time, Age Unknown, Cannot Be Saved

 

If you are me, you can’t throw a rock without hitting Heraclitus.  He’s one of those foundational principles upon which so much else is built; opposable thumbs are similarly important, as are vowel sounds, and floors.  Heraclitus was from the city of Ephesus, where the school of philosophy was born, which is as strange and convenient as the fact that an orange is the color orange.  He seems to have lived in the late 6th century, which means nothing because how can it, and he said a lot of things I love or else they have somehow snuck into my thought processes so thoroughly that what he says and what I experience are the same thing.  He called the Big Thing, which I’ll get to in a moment, the Logos, which HELLO, means the Word, and I also call it that and so did John in the Bible, all of us.  How disastrous for me if he had instead called it Calculus or Jogging.  Nothing would make sense to me and also I would be out of a job. 

He is the Philosopher of Change.  Before him had been the Philosophies of Stuff, which posed questions like, “What is this?” and “Fire fire: dirtfire.”  To go from Stuff to Change was a monumental leap, in my opinion, because the issues of does some Stuff be everything and does some Stuff all of a sudden be different when you aren’t looking can never be answered.  There is Stuff we can’t even find, for heaven’s sake.  To look around and declare that everything is in a constant state of flux – it is the essence of existence – that was sassy.  He is most often quoted as having said no one can step in the same river twice – a flawless statement.  It’s so perfect one can never tire of it, one being this one, and it remains crystalline and sound, century after century.  Would he but have said it!  The translation is more accurately, “On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow.”  So.  But it doesn’t matter because you CAN’T step into the same river twice, there is no same river. 

But what is this?  He was also the Philosopher of Unity of Opposites, and without this part we would have no humor.  Everything is in a state of flux, that’s a) but also b) things that are opposite are identical = c) everything is and is not all at once.  You know who else said this?  Monty Python.  A benign mentally ill young man I knew in college.  Jewel.  This part of his philosophy is summarized as The upward and the downward way are the same way.  THAT is a flawless statement, also mysterious and puzzling.  When I looked up the literal translation I found, “The road up and down is one and the same.”  To which one can only say, indeed it is.  Otherwise I would only be able to travel in one direction, and where would the road behind me go, I ask you?  All sorts of tricks and chicanery, like making the road roll up as I traveled (would get very big and obstruct rear view) or causing it to disappear entirely (that seems possible so I’m going to pretend I didn’t say it) would have to be used for the world to NOT be as Heraclitus described it.

There was only one thing outside his system, an everlastingness that was not flux or opposition:  the Logos. 

When I was in graduate school (the second time) (something I really like? graduate school) I read a poem so good I remember thinking the poet must have felt that he had done it, had pulled a star out of his pocket.  To get something so right:  for a moment, one’s mortality must be subsumed.  See what that is?  Logos.  Because one’s mortality is never subsumed, and it was a perfect poem and even if the poet was granted a moment’s thrill it was gone before he realized he’d felt it at all, and he was overwhelmed instead by the knowledge that he must find the next poem, or perhaps that he would never write anything beautiful again.  But the Words are divine. 

My friend Aaron showed it to me.  I remember it was at the back of a thick anthology.  The poem was called In The Heraclitian Living Room, and I knew the moment I read the title what would happen in it – I wasn’t sure how – and I also knew something was now impossible for me.  I would never have this idea first, because you can’t be the first to write the poem twice. 

As I recall, in the Heraclitian living room you rise from your chair to pick up your glasses and when you turn around the chair is gone.  The table where your glasses rested is in a completely different place.  In a sort of time-terror you try to gather up what you can hold, but as you do everything starts to flow past you.  The carpet becomes a river and you are standing on the edge of it.  The poem was dense, compact, irreducible.  Aaron was extraordinarily bright, by which I mean he was intelligent far outside the boundaries of normal.  I say this about very few people; there are very few such people.  We were in the same poetry workshop and as the semester progressed his poems became more and more difficult to comprehend.  They had absolutely no story in them, and it was impossible to connect anything to anything else.  It was not the human condition he was addressing.  In academia this is lauded.  In Quakerism it is not tolerated.  When I was in seminary, my second year, an incoming student very like Aaron arrived and I knew just by looking at him that he was one of them:  that tiny subset of humanity whose intelligence is so great it causes physical pain.  I never saw him at ease in the time I knew him, not even for a moment.  We had one class together and when he made comments they were so erudite and far-reaching even his voice was pain-shaded.  He was already writing his thesis, a huge project, and he was a perfect student.  Meeting for Worship was held every day and he was never late; he was in class before anyone else, had read 64 times what was required.  He was in the ministerial track, and the first time we were invited to hear a sermon of his the subject was a very fine point in a very obscure passage written by the historian Origen, and how it had been misinterpreted over time.

Shortly after the sermon, a professor came to me privately and asked if I would read one of the young man’s papers and tell him what I thought.  I sat in his office and read the twelve pages.  I said they were incomprehensible, and the professor nodded.  The young man had already been Eldered – taken in hand by an Elder in the Meeting who gently explained to him how he had violated the Gospel Order.  I knew this because the young man himself told me what she said.  I can recall the sentiment if not the exact words:  it is not in keeping with the Spirit to speak in a way that no one understands.  Such ministry is not merely of no use, it is false, and she suggested that he work harder on discerning what is of God and what is not.  A true leading to speak out of the silence would be one clear and simple, so that it reached the condition of as many in the Meeting as possible.  As he told me this story he was so confused he was flushed:  how could his genius be anything but God-given?  I suggested that his genius was not the issue; a spoken ministry is either true or it is not, and his were not true according to Quaker faith and practice, not then, and consistently not, all the way back to 1653.  He looked pained.

Sitting in the professor’s office I asked what was being led toward and it was as I suspected.  There was no division between students and faculty in matters pertaining to the group as a whole; the only time decisions were made without the consensus of the students was over budgetary issues and I don’t believe anyone complained, as coming to consensus over an institutional budget is similar to being slapped repeatedly about the head and ears with a dead chicken.  Now, in the matter of the young man, we sat in silence and considered the question:  could the imprimatur of George Fox and Margaret Fell be given to him?  Was there clarity on the issue?  Of course there was.  It was unfortunate and obvious at once.  You belong to the Religious Society of Friends when you behave as one.  In his office the professor had said to me, “We wouldn’t allow Wittgenstein a ministerial degree,” to which I had replied, “God, I would hope not.”

No one in the graduate program in English, graduate school two, would have dreamed of expelling Aaron because his poems spoke to no one, which was fine by me.  I liked him very much.  He had found a poem he knew I would love and it was a bullseye.  That is kindness and friendship.  He went on to the Iowa Workshop and was given the equivalent of the Barbie Dream Scholarship, and by the time he graduated from there he was the Something Or Other Title Holder (it wasn’t the shot-put, of that I’m fairly sure).  The title was the Big Poet’s way of saying Aaron was good enough to have her name attached to his.  I now own three of his books.  With all my heart I wish him success and happiness, and if those books are in English you couldn’t prove it by me.

I was trying to find In The Heraclitian Living Room the night the clocks changed.  I grew up in Indiana:  The State Where Time Stood Still.  We had no such thing as daylight savings (in my family we had no savings), because dawn is dawn and dark is dark.  I found the whole concept one big gobstopper, and now that everyone does it, including Hoosiers, I am still confused.  When I say confused I mean this is not good for me, in the mental health way.  I cannot, cannot understand what I am to do twice a year.  People have said to me “We gain an hour” or “We lose an hour” hundreds of times, and it sounds like madness.  Everyone is told to do this thing with clocks and so they do, and I find it a violation.  John said, when the October panic began, “You have no concept of what time it is anyway.  You don’t know what day it is or sometimes what month.”  You can bet I did NOT just leap in and say, “That’s nothing – I actually don’t understand what year it is,” because that would be too much information and nothing he needs to know.  I was searching for the poem online using various terms and patterns when John e-mailed me from inside the house to say, “Remember:  tonight there will be an hour you get to have twice.”  I had to close my eyes to stop prevent vertigo, or vertifaux, maybe, as it isn’t a vestibular problem that makes me dizzy – it’s things like wild violations of common sense, and pretending to tinker with time and space.  As I searched one database after another I had the idea that maybe I would try to replicate the hour exactly when it began again, doing the same things I had done before.  That failed for two reasons:  I am always doing the same things I did before, in some fashion, and I don’t know when this mystery hour began or when it ended or what the Logos of the Tempus is, to have the same hour twice.  The truth is I’ve been trying to find that poem for ten years now.  I just check periodically to see if it will appear somewhere, anywhere, as my room in the barn flows past me like a river.  I’ve known all along – although I hate to admit it –  I simply may not be able to read those words twice.

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Published in: on November 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm  Comments (679)  

679 Comments

  1. You know how Delonda fell backwards after considering the stars?

    Yeah. That. I’m so gobsmacked I can’t even think of my own stories, I have to use one of yours.

  2. “It is not in keeping with the Spirit to speak in a way that no one understands. Such ministry is not merely of no use, it is false, and she suggested that he work harder on discerning what is of God and what is not.”

    I will be spending more time with this particular post, but for now THIS is careening around in my brain like a pinball, hitting all the sides and lighting it up.

  3. “The unapparent connection is more powerful than the apparent one.”

    Heraclitus is a smart dude. i also really love this one:

    “As a single, unified thing there exists in us both life and death, waking and sleeping, youth and old age, because the former things having changed are now the latter, and when those latter things change, they become the former.”

    that second one hit me because i am 31, beyond youth–before old age. but so many things have changed already in my life, and they are as they are–they have become the former, but first they were the latter. phew.

  4. yeah, what is up with day light savings? it drives me bananas. gaining, losing hours. who is in charge of time anyway?

  5. I learn so much from all of you smarty pants in this blog! I love this, but I’m afraid it has to take time to sink in before I understand it thoroughly. I had to read your explanation of Heraclitus’ second comment three times, but I totally get it. 🙂

    And as for daylight savings time – I realize every time we change the clocks in Indiana that time really is arbitrary.

  6. The problem with time is how it spatializes the universe. I have often wondered how my dogs perceive time and how they consider their existence in relationship to time.

  7. yeah, George, i wonder that, too. for example, do my 3 pups know when it is the weekend? i am around the whole time. what about the week? i am at work mostly–but visit at lunch. any idea of time? they must, right? it gets dark…geez, sarah palin’s animals must be very confused. light all summer, dark all winter….

  8. George, my dog Daisy perceives time like this – Time to eat, time to eat, time to sleep, time to walk, time to eat, time to eat. Ha-ha! 🙂

    Seriously, though, do you think animals perceive time per se? I have a cat that had a miserable life before we adopted him, and I have often wondered if he is able to remember the time in his past when his life was horrible. I hope not – what do you think?

  9. From what I understand it has to do with children taking the bus to school, and their safety in the early mornings. But my kids don’t take a bus, so what it means for us is that my husband works all day in a basement and then gets off work at 5 and drives to school or home in the pitch black.

  10. But is that daylight savings time’s fault or the fact that a normal workday is not the four hours it should be but eight (or ten or sixteen)?

  11. Two more thoughts:

    1. I have frequently maintained that Fundamentalists and Atheists are the same thing.

    2. No wonder you love Groundhog Day.

  12. When I was much younger and would dip my toe in that river, I came to the thinking that maybe logos was the pronouncement of time upon the universe.

  13. I actually think that all creation is subject to time — that is to say the spatialization of the universe.

  14. I think that once the universe was measured — quantitatively — the process of qualitativeness began as a way to affix a point in relationship to time.

    To me, this explains the notion of Big Bang and the subsequent movement of the universe, the spinning of galaxies, comets, planets, moons and things right down to quantum particles.

    To me, as this applies to organic matter, I see this qualitativeness as the substance of existence/non existence and the main function of DNA. I see DNA as the stuff that makes creatures function within time — causing birds to migrate, leaves to appear and drop off trees, that sort of thing. To me, and as it applies to organic beings, the qualitativeness/existence link through DNA is the basis of sentience.

  15. …just some thoughts.

    Growing up Hoosier, however, I never, ever was confident of the time. To me, time was a big quivering bowl of warm green Jell-o, maybe with carrot shreds in it, and served on Wednesdays at Harwood Elementary School in Evansville. I am still often unsure about the hour.

  16. Regarding Pets and time:

    So I think that my dogs have total perception of time due to the following:
    Everyday when I get home from work @ 5:35 my dogs are waiting at our patio doors on the deck for me. As I unlock the back door and enter they have managed to scramble (in 3 seconds flat across wood floors no less which is quite a feat and very funny) into the kitchen to greet me as if they have not seen me in years. Everyday, the exact same. However, the times I have come home early due to sickness or other reasons they are not there! And when I open the door I have to call them and they both stumble into the kitchen obviously having just been woken up!
    That said, one of my babies was a rescue and I have convinced myself that he has no memory before coming to us…well maybe that’s just a favor I have requested from God:)

  17. About pets and memories .. I’m pretty sure they remember. Our family cat, Thomas, (who was more of a human than most people I’ve encountered) was accidentally crammed into the couch when my brother was putting back the fold-out bed.. Up until that point, Thomas and my brother were close, after that, Thomas would refuse to have anything to do with my brother. Over ten years later, when my brother would come to visit, Thomas would hightail it and hide until he left (Thomas hid for *no one*).
    They forgive maybe, but I’m not so sure they forget..

  18. If I may, I don’t find much profit in wondering what dogs perceive at the level of sense awareness or even memory, when their sense of smell is potentially a million times greater than mine. That alone places all of their perceptions outside the reach of my understanding. They are moving through the world apprehending things in ways that are as UN-me as a distant planet. How could their parsing of time be the same if they measured it by how long a scent remains, for instance?

    Kittery, my mom got stuck in the couch once. But she did fine.

  19. True .. though considering some of the things they smell .. I think I’d rather be deficient in that area. 😉 I think people wonder about their pets just because for a lot of us, our pets are our babies, it’s our way of trying to get closer to them .. humanizing them..

    Lol, glad to hear she did okay afterwards.

  20. HK-

    I am still listening to Couch and of course loving it. I forgot about the scene with the crack the whip and was just curious if your arm ever still bothers you?

  21. i agree on the smell thing. how can they stand it when one of them breaks wind though–it clears a room of humans…

    There is no question they have perceptions. but they vary, just like people. my one dog, hannah, can tell if someone is sad the SECOND he/she enters the house. she becomes a mother hen. and of course, when everything is A-OK, she is the boss. then there is my other dog, ginger. she is a lab, although she is a skinny one. who has ever heard of that? her perceptions are prioritized, i believe. screw it if someone is upset, i don’t care if that is a bowl of food…i see a ball! she will run til she drops. and our other dogs are getting a little “round” in the middle bc ball is no fun with ginger. finally, there is trevor. he will walk on a leash, yet poops in the driveway ever SINGLE morning. what’s the deal? hannah, ginger…no leash–yet, they can aim their feces toward the grass, or better–the woods. so i am absolute belief that dogs perceive many things, i am unsure if they have some sort of editing program or if some are just into other stuff…i dunno….

    on, the bed home front. it wasn’t a folding couch–it was a murphy bed–that folds into the wall and i tried to cram my sister in it. and it was not an accident. she got out and things are just great between us.

  22. Kit, they NEVER wish they were more deficient in that area. The more noxious the better for them. I refer to the way a dog just walks through a room as Reading The Dog Newspaper. Not only do they love the decay, the wretched, the dead, they love figuring out who did what to whom. They’re just like us that way, and I’m not anthropomorphizing, although I would if I wanted to, it just seems like a fact. They’re intensely curious and they depend upon information for their survival, just like us.

    I said that about anthropomorphizing because I agree with a statement by the late, great, I mean astonishingly good dog trainer and animal philosopher, Vicki Hearne. She says our problem is not that we do it too much, it’s that we do it the wrong way and sometimes not often enough. She would take great issue with the use of the word ‘babies,’ for instance (I’m not chastizing you at all, just trying to explain her point), because not only does it rob the animal of its dignity, it causes you to misread everything they do and everything they need. It isn’t possible for me to look at two Italian mastiffs and think of them as my babies. Those are animals, and they are animals with terrifying power, and my job is to see that the power isn’t misused, by explaining to them in a variety of ways that I not only am I the alpha over them, I control the entire world. After a certain time, if you are the alpha, you don’t even need to say anything, and I only have to actually use my voice with them if they’re barking while outside. When you do speak to correct them, Hearne says they must hear the voice of God. THAT is anthropomorphizing, and yet it’s dead-on.

    Also, I don’t have these dogs flawlessly trained, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I flawlessly trained a rottweiler, and it’s a full-time job. I trained a rescued golden retriever, whose mind was entirely scrambled, and one day while I was in the shower he went through the kitchen to the garage, ate a hole in the garage door, ran almost a mile to a county road, and got hit by a truck. This was just after I’d spent about eight weeks convincing myself (and him) that he wasn’t better off in a Group Dog Home, where he could be looked after by people with tranquilizers. And lots of other dogs. These two I just keep in line, because I’m tired and I want some candy and to drink my coffee.

  23. Amy in OH, my arm doesn’t bother me but it’s slightly crooked, and my career in bowling was robbed from me.

    p.s. I was specifically instructed never to bowl, I wish I’d made that up.

    Steph, if we had had a Murphy bed when I was a child, you would not be reading this blog right now. Because my sister would have me crammed in it still, and every few minutes she’d say, “Are you reading to say uncle? You’re 43, now.” And I’d yell back, “NO! I WILL NEVER SAY IT!”

  24. what about Pee Dink? Would he have earned the name “baby” or no?

  25. Steph: it’s all about perception. What smells foul to us is a function of evolution and phase sensitive learning. The DNA stuff has some application, but not phase sensitive — imprinting — learned responses. My dog Sadie is revulsed by the smell of a Dorito, but will happily gobble down a pile of crap. Sadie has communicated this response to my dog, Gus, with regard to the chips. He, however, will not eat dung, indicating to me that he has made his own decisions in that regard.

    Both of their responses are just another indication of their sentience.

    But I believe all organic beings are sentient, and that is tied to their DNA, their existence in a perceivable time, their ties to the qualitativeness/quantitativeness of time, and imposition of time (call it logos) on the universe.

  26. Haven, what happened to the young man at seminary? I am worried about him.

    Sher and I met for lunch. I wish we had the whole afternoon as there was so much more to talk about. She is awesome, as I knew she would be. I posted a few pictures in the yahoo albums.

    I have been listening non-stop to Wade Bowen’s new cd, which I LOVE and one of the songs has the line, “You can’t step twice baby in the same river, you can’t ever go back in time” and I kept thinking how perfect that is and i know Wade didn’t make it up, but I love it anyway, and now I read about its true origin here. I tell ya, all my worlds are colliding again. In a good way.

    Take a listen to some of Wade’s songs if you don’t know him:
    http://www.wadebowen.com/content/jukebox.php

    Hopefully this link works.

  27. If my dog could talk she’s be such a gossip. This is how she spends the time she’s not sleeping.

    Haven, I’ve spent my boring hours at the mall today searching and searching all the academic databases I have access too, and I cannot find that poem. I’m intrigued enough to keep looking until I die though.

  28. “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

    Henry Beston(1888 – 1968), THE OUTERMOST HOUSE

  29. HK-i love it! i laughed out loud! luckily we didn’t have a murphy bed..it was at a hotel. if there had been one in the house i grew up in, for SURE someone would have been hurt.

    true story: my brother at 18 mos. fell out of a 2nd story window and landed on a pile of coiled hoses–that space was about 18 inches wide. to one side was a deck and the other side had metal doors that lead down to a basement. he didn’t have a scratch.

    true again: same brother…put my borrowed grandma’s car into neutral on a hill and decided to bail out the door as the car rolled backward…my mom came out the front door of the house to see him fall out. meanwhile, my sister was busy buckling up in the back. no one was hurt.

    last one, true, too: my brother choked on a hot dog at about 2 years old to the point of turning blue. i called 911. my dad was trying the heimlich and nothing was happening. my mom screamed, “harder..even if you break a rib, he is still alive”. out came the weenie. little bro just fine.

    i should say that he has been to circus school and runs his own hot dog stand. to attract customers, he rides unicycles while juggling fire or knives. it works, too. people love the bizarre. tucker (bro) would be proud to know i called him bizarre–but he is really way past that.

  30. Dee, how kind of you to look for it. See what I mean? It fascinates me.

    Amanda, if PeeDink had been my baby, I would have written one of those memoirs, the kind you pass on a table and think, “Oh, that poor, poor woman. But at least she kept him, and made him happy while he lived.”

    I do believe George is saying, consistently but firmly, that he is not a religious man.

  31. George: Gus is a smartie

  32. …not to change the subject, because I have always liked ole Heraclitus and have thought long and hard on the issue of time…

    but, you know, I really, really, really like Couch. I just like it in the sense that I like a nice grill cheese sandwich or a cup of coffee on a cool night while sitting on a picnic table. I took to re-reading Couch Sat. and Sun. Last night, I finished the broken arm story, so I was wondering how your arm was doing these days, Haven.

    Thanks, Amy, for serving up the question.

    And Haven, too bad, about that bowling being forbidden to you. On the other hand, and you are probably aware of this, but it was Heraclitus who said: A bowler never uses the same lane twice. I think he meant all kinds of things by that statement.

  33. I understand what you said about calling an animal a baby, how it deprives it of its dignity .. I know if my cat were tossed out the door, she’d do better than I would, but .. how should we refer to our pets? My cat’s been with me since the day she was born, and I do love her and feed her and clip her claws and all that other stuff, essentially, I am her caretaker, even though if necessary, she could take care of herself .. I’m really, really not trying to be willfully stupid or argumentative, I’m just wondering .. if calling/treating them like our babies makes us misunderstand their actions and needs, how should we view them?
    It just seems cold to say, “this is my animal and I keep it line”..

    :: brings you a hot cup of coffee for putting up with me ::

  34. Just listening to you all talk is my salvation today. Cute, funny, profound. Yay!

  35. i’m not religious, true, i am more of a sardonic, though, admittedly, I dabbled in sarcastiscm in my younger days.

  36. I will be the first to admit I have a horrible problem with seeing my dogs as my children. I try and I try to read dog training books and instill in myself as well as my dogs that they are animals and I am the human. I think this is hard for me as these are my first dogs and I was just struck dumb by the love they can give to you…I believe I just didn’t know how to handle it and in turn celebrate their birthdays, sing them songs I have composed and all around worship the ground they walk on. But Mya eats her poop and Sanchez rolls in his so if they are my children then they take after their father’s side of the family.

  37. kittery, i like your question. and one of my kitties, the one who did NOT come from the streets after she was a year old, is going to spend her entire life comforting herself by “nursing” on whatever shirt i am wearing.

  38. AMY IN OHIO JUST MADE ME DIE LAUGHING!

  39. Thank you Amanda, it’s my pleasure!!
    xoxox

  40. George, I don’t want to derail this conversation about animals and pets, but your comment about organic beings being sentient got my attention – that is precisely why I do not eat them, so I wondered – are you a vegetarian?

  41. Steph, you need only say, “He has been to circus school,” and my life is made richer.

    Jody, I’ve been trying and trying to open the last images you sent me and cannot. Without a doubt I am to blame, not you, because of my moronicity. And the whole ruckus about animals could not be said better than your quotation by Beston. One day when I was pregnant for Gus and on bedrest, Iorek walked over and stood next to the sofa where I was sitting. It’s hard to explain how big he is without hyperbole, to which one might be prone anyway, if one were Haven. He outweighs me now by nearly twenty pounds. When he looks out the front door his head is above the doorknob, for perspective. And his head is THE BIGGEST DOG HEAD I HAVE EVER SEEN. It’s so enormous someone comments on it every day, and I mean we people who see him every day. He stood there looking down at me, just checking. This breed of mastiff is very still. I scratched him under the chin and saw, suddenly, the power he actually holds. I’m so much Bob Jarvis’s daughter I would think I was in charge of a mountain lion. I said to Iorek, “Thank you for not killing me.” He closed his eyes, I scratched his chest.

  42. Jodi: I have loved that quote for as long as I have been aware of it. It was just another one of a bunch of things that TOTALLY REARRANGED things for me.

    Haven: I have been checking databases for that poem. It’ll turn up, I have faith.

  43. Haven, you rocked the casbah with this posting.

    One of my favorite Buddhist tales from Heinrich Zimmer (as told by Joseph Campbell), is about Hinayana (the little ferryboat) and mahayana (the big ferryboat). Ultimately, we are on the ferryboat and there is nobody on the ferryboat. All things are without a self. Yield to mahasukha, the great delight. Dissolve the notion that our self is separating us from other people, and don’t be afraid.

    Ashleigh Brilliant put it another way, something like, How can it be? We are everything and at the same time we are nothing.

    And lest we forget, Was (Not Was).

    Campbell also said, “Religion turns poetry into prose.”

    Kant said that the thing in itself is no thing. It transcends thingness, it goes past anything that could be thought. The best things can’t be told because they transcend thought. The second best are misunderstood, because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can’t be thought about. The third best are what we talk about.

    Truly, my dog Emma understands all this. She enjoys her friends, she enjoys her dinner, she enjoys her sleep. Isn’t that why we’re here?

    What do you think?

  44. Amy in Ohio – you made me laugh out loud, too! I compose songs about my kitties for my kitties. They love them, of course, and I think they are hilarious. I had to made up songs for all of them because the ones that didn’t have songs got jealous.

    I can’t remember who made the comment about the dog who consoled people who were upset, but I have a cat – Ringo – who does the same thing. When Scott and I holler at each other (which is not too often) he sits between us and meows plaintively. He also beelines to people who are upset – he just knows, and sits on their laps to comfort them. I know he knows. And some people think animals are dumb…

  45. Steph: No, I am of the omnivore persuasion.

  46. The story of Aaron reminded me of something I read by Joseph Campbell when I was trying to figure out why I kept bumping into silence in great literature, or text that seemed to be reaching beyond itself, to be stretching the language it inhabited. And I read this (pardon long quote):

    How, in the contemporary period, can we evoke the imagery that communicates the most profound and most richly developed sense of experiencing life? These images must point past themselves to that ultimate truth which must be told: that life doe not have any one absolutely fixed meaning. These images must point past all meanings given, beyond all definitions and relationships, to that really ineffable mystery that is just the existence, the being of ourselves and of our world. If we give that mystery an exact meaning, we diminish the experience of its real depth. But when a poet carries the mind into a context of meanings and then pitches it past those, one knows that marvelous rapture that comes from going past all categories of meaning. Here we sense the function of metaphor that allows us to journey we could not otherwise make, past all categories of definition.

    About time and space. I took astrology for my science in college, with visions of laying about in country fields at night, looking at the wonders of the heavens through a telescope. But then I got the textbook and was flung into the world of physics and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. It gave me nightmares! I remember waking in a panic from one vivid such dream, in which I woke up to air and objects all around me pulsing because time was expanding in my room, and the clock was spinning because it was 10:30 to the 35th power. And that was when I really woke up in a sweat. Whew! I can’t deal with stuff. Give me obtuse metaphors any day!

  47. …I don’t take being an omninvore to the same extreme as, say, my dog Sadie, and I have previously mentioned at least one of her favorite snacks.

  48. Peggy: I’d do about anything — even your laundry — to have had that dream. Time is one of my favorite things to drive myself nutty thinking about. Don’t know why that is, either. Just a quirk. One of my all”time” favorite novels is Jack Finney’s, Time and Again.

  49. George, you bring forth in me a powerful urge to get some learnin’. Very intriguing, re: DNA/sentience/time.

    And that was the line that most struck me, too, Amanda the “It is not in keeping with the Spirit to speak in a way that no one understands. Such ministry is not merely of no use, it is false…” Also, may I point out just how squeaky brand new it is to draw a parallel between Monty Python, a benign mentally ill classmate, and Jewel.

  50. Amy,

    I have my first cat (Natale) and she managed to get outside once (I got her when I was too young to have any say as to the fate of her reproductive innards) and she ended up pregnant. She delivered two kittens, one who looks identical to her (eyes, face) (Lily) but has completely different markings (takes after pa) and the other one (Charlotte) has the father’s face, but all of Natale’s markings … Natale HATES Lily, but tolerates Charlotte .. I sometimes wonder if Lily reminds her of an affair gone wrong…

    Amanda,

    Aww. 🙂 One night when I didn’t go to bed early enough, Lily curled up in one of my worn shirts and took a nap until she could curl up with me in bed.

    And now, I think I’m going to sit quietly before Haven throws me out ..

  51. Haven,

    Yes to Iorek. Iorek’s understanding transcends thought.

    I had two Yorkshire terriers for fifteen years — boys from the same litter. When Nicky was ill and mercifully euthanized, my husband and I brought his body home and showed it to his brother Jake, who had not spent a day without him in fifteen years. Jake wandered over, took a sniff, and wandered off. Jake did not conceive of Nicky’s death as we did. He accepted it. He undoubtedly knew it was coming in ways we could not. There was no falseness in Jacob.

    Animals transcend this plane of consciousness. They are patient and tolerant of us, in ways we cannot be for them. If they had the capacity (and I believe they do not, because it’s a “lesser” feeling), I believe they would pity us.

    Sweet Iorek. He is a prophet, he is All You Need to Know.

  52. Kittery, I LOVE that your cat cannot face her child who reminds her of a deadbeat bastard!
    Stephanie in Indiana-Glad to know others sing to their animals too! Sometimes as I am “writing” the lyrics as I sing, I stop and think, wow this is what college and a degree in Literature has provided for me.

  53. MY E-MAIL IS DOWN. ALERT. People to whom I have letters in something called a queu: Kate Cake, Scott, Polly (unless that one went through).

  54. Amy,

    :: snickers :: The way you phrased that was excellent. 😉

    I don’t sing to my pets, but they all have middle names .. do any of you do this?

  55. Thank you for that very quiet, quakerly, non-sireny alert!

  56. My dad was my Sunday School teacher when I was in high school. He was inclined to answer questions he did not know the answers to, as asked by my friends in his class at church. In actuality, and I was the only person in the room who knew this, he was thinking about baseball and horses at all times. Exclusively. So his answers went unheard and un-pondered by him. They were ludicrous, but because he did not hear them, he did not react. He probably didn’t know he answered.

    I feel certain we had an entire Sunday School unit based on “In The Heraclitian Living Room.”

  57. Haven,

    Seriously? Aaron got the Barbie Dream Scholarship? Didn’t he later get a job as spokesperson for Moses Staffing and Snake Wranglers? Or is that putting words in your mouth?

  58. Here is what Hillman has to say about time, and Iam not just pulling this out of a hat, I had the book on my nightstand;
    “We do believe that all things move through time, which carries on in its river all the world, all the species, and each individual life. So when we look at anything, we see it in time. We even seem to see time itself”.

    I hate having to fall back and spring forward. There are so many clocks to change, and I never know if I am being cheated somehow. This is why I sleep in, because after 10am it doesn’t really matter.

  59. George, I really really love COUCH myself. Every essay wrote itself; I merely did the typing. Well, and the sobbing (very quietly), because my dad had just died. I wouldn’t begin it until he was gone, and then he died and my publisher announced they wanted to reverse the pub dates of THE USED WORLD and COUCH, but they’d need COUCH in forty days, if I could do it. This is akin to Kate triple-dog daring me to do something (which she does), so I said, OH I CERTAINLY CAN DO THAT, not thinking of how much input I’d need from my poor mother and sister, in order to get everything right. And the family photographs and getting permission from everyone in the book to talk about them, all while grieving as if I had been gutted with a hunting knife. Because you don’t get your father twice. Also I had lost him long, long before he died — he had gone over, as Plotinus said of the difference between beauty and ugliness, into another order. But in that book I still had him, just barely. And I had to write one essay after another in which he was present (so I had to resurrect him), knowing not only what was about to happen in the story, but that he was dead in the present. I know we’ve been flying the Glory Flag for Delonda for a week, but I must bow to her again: she not only allowed me to tell a story that is rightfully hers, she gave me her journals, her unpublished memoir from that time, she e-mailed me pieces she’d written I didn’t know about, she called every single night and listened to what I’d written that day, and my sister did the same. Delonda and Melinda: CROWNS. And don’t think for a moment I was hurt more than anyone else — Mom and Lindy helped me when it must have been unbearable for them. M. completely recreated the silver anniversary party, for instance — the decorations, the guests, the punch (so to speak), the dialogue between herself and dad, all in a very patient, slightly flat voice, knowing I would write it however I saw fit and total strangers would read it. That’s not easy for anyone, but she is a private person, and her response to my career has been one of unconditional love. And with Delonda, it wasn’t only her story, it was her marriage AND she’s the better writer AND she still gave it to me. The mind reels.

    So yes, George, I love the book anyway, because it arrived with every form of grace: the ease of writing it, the heroism of my family, my beloved Christopher, who was very ill and read each essay the moment I sent it to him anyway. And because I was able to fool myself for hours and hours at a time and pretend my dad was standing in front of me. It didn’t last of course, and the room turned into a river and he flowed away.

  60. Jodi, I have read the post about your father and Sunday School over and over and I believe it might be one of the funniest things in history.

    The Moses job: You knew Aaron, too? Or did you read the Books?

  61. Haven,

    I knew Aaron AND his brother Bezalel – the brother who had the construction business.

  62. Here’s another of those Sunday School songs you and I have in common, Haven. Did you sing it?

    “Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir,
    So that every mouth can be fed.
    Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.

    My wife and my kids, they are packed up and leave me.
    Darling, she said, I was yours to be seen.
    Poor me, the Israelite. Aah.”

  63. Oh Haven, that was such a beautiful post about your family. I envy your bravery to write those stories and tell the world about everyone you love…
    It’s so weird because as I was listening to couch this morning I kept thinking that I would love to talk to Zippy, forgetting she is now a grown woman who is so smart and eloquent…not a little girl who doesn’t like to wear shoes and loves Glen Campbell.

  64. Dear Haven,

    Every molecule of what you just said is so deeply imbedded in Couch. I ripped through it the first time. This weekend was a little different. Took it slowly. As one of your readers, I thank you for this book in more ways than I am capable of expressing. Here’s the way it goes for me: I was enchanted by Zippy; I was blown away by Iodine; I was infatuated with Something Rising; I was taught things by Solace; I was taken back home to Indiana with The Used World.

  65. Oh, me thinks the shoes and Glen Campbell part are still very much alive.

  66. Kittery, I would never throw you out! I often say to Scott, “I wrote one of my best hilarities today,” and it has involved you a lot lately. To be honest I say that every day, that I pulled off a great hilarity. I find myself vastly amusing. So thank you!

    In terms of how to see our animals if not as our babies, I think it’s one of those things related deeply to personality. I unconsciously said to a friend once, when her kittens came running in, “I don’t like kittens. They don’t know any of the good cat stuff yet.” She was horrified but laughed, because it’s undeniable about me. I’m not a kitten or puppy person. I like us standing as equals. I couldn’t wait to see Iorek at his full height, for instance. That isn’t to say I don’t write songs for him, which cause his tail stump to go wild with happiness, but that’s MY dignity on the ground, not his. And while he is entirely loyal to me and would in fact, kill for me, I can’t speak for him and call it love. I can only say that I love him in a heartmelting way, and I instinctively translate that into authority, as I do with my children.

  67. George, if not for you, what I really mean to say would not get said.
    xoxo

  68. I’m merely channeling YOU, Miz Hayes.

  69. “…other nations.” YES. My best dog Cady (because Elizabeth would have been too long), would have eaten me if I called her my baby. She was Other. It took a persistent two years to convince her I was alpha. (Incidentally, she had no problems ceding animal alpha to Europa, the Wonder Dog, and Murphy, he of the diminutive size but very sharp claws.) But the next 13 years with her — her infinite capacity for expression and astounding vocabulary — let me say that except for the having of credit cards to take her to the doctor and teaching her about the rules of the road, our companionship was mostly one of peership.

    She stayed behind in NYC with (by-then 20-year-old) Murphy the cat and the dear ex; a week after she flew here to me in Seattle, Murphy died. They were like siblings.

  70. i am DEVASTATED: Barack Obama’s grandmother died today. i can’t even talk about this.

  71. Caryl, you called that one. I wondered who’d be the first, as I am barefoot this very moment and my iTunes is paused on Wichita Lineman.

    There was a moment during that night — the clock night, let’s call it — when the world seemed so out of whack I picked up one of Hillman later books just to read the titles of his work, honest to goodness. He is a man of almost supernatural clarity. Following links to various articles about Heraclitus, reading one wrong poem after another, I felt as if I’d been made ill by verbosity. I opened his book and saw the title: On Paranoia, and my mind went, aaaah. Thank you.

  72. Moses Snake Wranglers incorporated with Sam Onan’s aviary in the 1920’s in New York City. It was Dorothy Parker who so admired Onan and named her canary after him. I believe Paul Bezalel was involved in designing and building Parker’s house in New Rochelle.

  73. Jodi, I am agog afresh with every post. How do you know all this stuff??!!

  74. Haven,

    A couple of posts ago, I passed by the mirror and paused to look at myself for a moment and I thought, “I am making an ass of myself in front of a brilliant woman”.
    But I’m glad it’s at least coming in useful! 🙂

    :: nods :: The way you summed things up about pets, I get that.. (it just takes persistence, eventually .. I will see reason. 😉 )

  75. That is just heartwrenching — where did you read it, Amanda? I went looking and found only “Can Obama Win Popular Vote But Lose Election,” just when I’d convinced myself there is nothing to be living in dread over.

  76. and, “…that’s my dignity on the ground, not his.” — you are not the only one vastly amused by you!

  77. Jodi, Aaron have I loved, but Bezalal took me for $2,500.

    And that ‘hymn’ you sent? That seemed to have a lot of soul in it. We would not have gone there. That ‘Darling’ business? Soul. Not appropriate.

    I prefer this song these days:

    Lazy bones, loafin through the day
    How you spect to make a dime that way?
    You’ll never make a dime that way,
    You never hear a word I say.

    I’m just mixing the song up here in any order I want because who cares, but I love this part:

    When the taters need sprayin,
    I bet you keep prayin
    The bugs fall off the vine.
    And when you go fishin
    I bet you keep wishin
    The fish don’t jump at your line.

    Right?! Isn’t that pure religiosity just laid out in front of ya?

  78. I think if you turned on CNN it’ll probably have the news about Barack’s grandmother on .. my mother just came and told me. Speaking of other (wretched) news – did you hear that a bunch of early ballots in Florida were being transported and ended up flying all over the highway? If Florida ruins the election for the third year running, I think they should be forced to secede and become their own little nation. Petition, anyone?

  79. Haven, I appreciate your sharing the background of what was going on when you wrote Couch. I loved Zippy so much (the book, that is) that I obsessively buy all of the copies I find in stores and give them away. I loved Zippy the girl, too, because, like so many others have said, she reminded me of me and my friends- girls who grew up in rural Indiana. I laughed until I couldn’t breathe with Zippy. But Couch made me sad through and through – even though it is the story of your mother’s triumph, which I celebrate, it carried an undeniable undertone of sadness. After reading what was going on in your life and your heart at the time, I think that I what I was perceiving as I read it. That is not to say that I don’t love Couch, too – I do, absolutely. I just knew what was coming at the end of the book, and I couldn’t stand the sadness.

    Thank you for sharing such a valuable piece of yourself and your family. I am in awe of all your genrosity and strength.

  80. Haven,

    It is both right AND pure. As the driven.

    Sorry to hear about your $2,500 loss. Bezalel is dead, if that makes you feel any better.

    While we’re quoting Hoosier lyricists,

    Ol’ Rockin’ Chair’s got me,
    Cane by my side,
    Fetch me that ‘pone, son,
    ‘Fo I tan your hide.

    Cain’t git from this cabin,
    Goin’ nowhere,
    Jes’ sittin’ here grabbin’
    At the flies ’round this Rockin’ Chair.

  81. Wasn’t it Abel who said, Cain by my side?

  82. No, Abel said, “If you don’t get yer ass out of my rocker, I’m a RAISE CAIN.” They were elderly and tetchy by then.

  83. Kittery, sign me up! Sheesh – that is ridiculous! Hello – this is an election, it is important! Be careful, for Pete’s sake! The worst part of all of this for me now is the waiting, knowing there is not a SINGLE THING I can do to change things – we just have to wait and see now. Two things I am decidedly not good at – waiting, and helplessness! Ugh!! 🙂

  84. I always wondered what Adam and Eve told Seth about the whole family mess? If they were Hoosiers, they probably didn’t speak about it…there were just two empty bedrooms in the house, causing Seth to live in the basement where he read and watch a lot of television.

  85. Amanda, one of my friends is very upset by the news of Obama’s grandmother, too, and I can’t get my e-mail to him to go through.

    I know this doesn’t help much, but I remember PRAYING my dad would live long enough to see my first book published, and when that had happened, I PRAYED he would live long enough for him to see my first novel, etc. Eventually I wanted to win the Pulitzer for my mother and be given a Macarthur’s Genius Grant so I could give the money to my sister. Obama’s grandmother saw him walk down that catwalk stage in Germany, she saw him accept the nomination from our party. And I’m sure she was a very smart woman: she knows he’s the next President of this country. She knew it already.

  86. George, DAGGUM SON. You sure said a mess about Indiana in that last post.

  87. HK,

    Speaking of my dad and your comment about “mixing the song up here in any order I want because who cares,” here are some poetic verses he oft’ quoted as he remembered learning them:

    “Blessings on thee, little man,
    Barefoot boy with cheeks of tan
    With thy turned-up pantaloons
    And thy whistle merry tunes …”

    “Under the spreading chestnut tree
    The village smithy stands
    He goes on Sunday to the church
    And sits among the boys …”

    “Life is just a bowl of cherries …”

    “I shot an arrow into the air
    It fell to earth, I know not where …”

    And he was confused by one of the Bee-Gees disco hits in the 1970’s. He came in the door one evening saying he’d heard a song on the radio on his way home called “Bald-Headed Woman.”

  88. I know, Stephanie!
    There is something that’s *worse* than waiting and helplessness, though. It’s the blissfully unaware (or those that choose to wear blinders) that say there’s not a single odd thing going on in Florida .. really? Weawwy?! Hanging chads (2000) more votes for Bush than the Reps and Independents combined (2004), early ballots flying across the highway this year? A dog, with an infinitely better nose than I might say, “smells particularly fishy to me”.

  89. She’ll see it tomorrow, for sure, from the other side, with Martin, Abe, Langston, Richard, Harriett, Malcolm, Marcus, Ralph, Rosa, so many others…

  90. Jodi, I can’t take it. I’m weak.

  91. Excellent point, Kittery! Daisy is not that smart, and I think she’d agree. It is very curious!

  92. HK,

    My dad had that effect on people. Laughing AT him? Laughing WITH him? I was never quite sure which way it went with him.

  93. Somebody should write a novel about Seth. He’s cool. Being the youngest, and after all the unpleasant stuff, his mother was a bit overprotective. His dad spent a lot of time in the office, working overtime, naming things. When his mother would be out in the garden, pulling weeds and stuff, Seth would often get on his bike and take rides, imaging himself free of those people.

  94. HK,

    Now that I think about it, wasn’t there a brief uproar when Helmer Gerard wanted to direct a porn version of “In The Heraclitian Living Room”?

  95. George, I’m with you on that. The Hour of Corruption, speaking of time, is over. There is not, and I say this in absolute faith, there is not a chance that the Republicans are going to win this by fraud again. As above: so below. It’s another fundamental principle of the universe, and as such it’s true everywhere all the time. Darkness and light flow into one another; the planet spins on its axis. As Twain might have said, The Best Little Boy In The World doesn’t always get the prize. Merit don’t run the show at that level. This election is no longer about merit, as the last have been: this is about darkness and light. I for one see the sun a’risin.

  96. Jodi, in the porn version of In The Heraclitian Living Room everything looked exactly the same, all the time, and the author of the original said, “They do not understand my vision.”

  97. Seth on his bicycle. I can see that.

  98. Wasn’t the original version of “In The Heraclitian Living Room” lost? There was some controvery as to whether it was a real film or … what was the story again?

  99. Thank you for responding, Haven. Part of my grief is over the fact that he will not be able to be with his children and his wife who must also be grieving, until all of this mess is over.. let alone allow for his own grief.

    Like I said. Can’t really talk about it. It’s just too much.

  100. and to everyone of us who may be tempted to fret… I DO agree with Haven that this year is our tipping point. i have no fears about tomorrow’s outcome.

  101. Thankee for the optimism, Amanda. 🙂 I do know that when it’s finally over and done with and we know for a a fact that we can relax – I’m going to be dancing around the house like a braindead monkey. (I’m sure all of you needed that image. 😉 )

  102. Dharma

    The way the dog trots out the front door
    every morning
    without a hat or an umbrella,
    without any money
    or the keys to her doghouse
    never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
    with milky admiration.

    Who provides a finer example
    of a life without encumbrance—
    Thoreau in his curtainless hut
    with a single plate, a single spoon?
    Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?

    Off she goes into the material world
    with nothing but her brown coat
    and her modest blue collar,
    following only her wet nose,
    the twin portals of her steady breathing,
    followed only by the plume of her tail.

    If only she did not shove the cat aside
    every morning
    and eat all his food
    what a model of self-containment she
    would be,
    what a paragon of earthly detachment.
    If only she were not so eager
    for a rub behind the ears,
    so acrobatic in her welcomes,
    if only I were not her god.

    – Billy Collins
    SORRY Haven, et al. I can’t think today. Or vote apparently since they didn’t send my absentee ballot and I had to much going on to realize all I had was a sample ballot and now I can’t get through to the Marin registrar because the phone lines are jammed and I have no idea where my polling place is since I have only voted by mail for the last 12 years. GAH.

  103. dorian, all of that info is usually online. you can usually look up in the voter database what your info is, including polling place. good luck!

  104. Dorian,

    Go here: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/rv/main/PollWorker/SmartVoter.cfm

    It should get you pointed to the poll place you need to go.

    We have to change this mess and it starts with your vote.

    George

  105. Haven still is barefoot and loves her some Glen Capmbell, Kittery will be doing crazy dances… all is right in the world tonight, we must have faith in that.

  106. About anthropomorphizing animals: what its critics miss, I think, is that in saying “my dog reminds me of [person],” we’re also — and maybe really truly — saying “[person] reminds me of my dog.” I don’t think we learn more about animals or understand them better by projecting human traits onto them; I think we learn more about human traits or understand them better because we can see similarities to them in animals’ behavior. We see where we, as humans, come from. Animals are like our ancestors, still living and breathing beside us.

  107. I miss Tim Russert. I really miss him.

  108. Thanks George, you are officially my hero. I printed out the info and that location is the last place I voted, but I am currently designated as an absentee only voter, which I will never do again. I will try and go tomorrow with my sample ballot and my drivers license, but I don’t know. WTF didn’t I get my ballot? I know Obama will win in California but I wanted to vote on 8 and 4 and the farm animal thing. I am so pissed off at myself I could just cry.

  109. Dorian,

    Just don’t want you to feel left out of this big feast we’re about to enjoy tomorrow. You can go to the poll place and cast a provisional ballot. Most states have such statutes in place, including California. http://ca.lwv.org/lwvc/edfund/elections/e3person.html#prov

  110. GeOrgE: Finney’s: TIME & AGAIN – LOVE it – I LOVE time travel and all that spiral dynamics gobbledeegook!

    Caryl – is there a BEFORE 10 a.m.??
    I swear, I get Claire on the bus at 8 a.m. – and whether or not I nap again, it doesn’t matter, because my brain does not act in correlation to my body until 10:01 a.m. (anywhere in the world).

    Haven – re COUCH. I am re-listening to it this week. I have read it twice, but I love hearing your voice because it is the inflection and tone that provides more depth than the words alone. I love that you can reach back across the murk of time and pull forth the observations and clarity of Zippy’s perspective. When we are children, we don’t neccessarily KNOW that our lives are less than others, or that our family is dysfunctional (although, whose isn’t?) – that purity of untainted joy in the day-to-day experiences . . . I think it is important to remember those shining times separately from the overcast days. So many people lose the joy of their childhoods because of a few or even many heartbreaks.

    My older sister (she was 4 when I was born and my father immediately left – I was told for years that he left because I was NOT a boy and that my name should have been _______, I actually believed this until a few years ago!) remembers the beautiful new house in Crawfordsville, IN where we lived and the shiny cars and custom furniture . . . then one day her daddy was gone, and the house and cars were gone, and her mom was collecting glass soda bottles to turn in for medicine for the screaming baby, and we traveled to CA with a con man that beat her mommy, and there were more babies and more men and then we finally settled into a trailer. It was YUCKY, and she was never happy. From the day her daddy left she has has close to no memory of her childhood except that it was YUCKY.

    That’s worse than having the first memories of the trailer with the holes in the floors around the registers where opossums would crawl through and you would hear them in your room at night until your stepdad beat their brains out with the fire poker and you woke up in the morning and saw the trail of blood going back to the woodpile . . . or spring and summer when the slugs crawled in, especially into the rotting wood connecting “porch” attaching the main trailer (a double wide) to the “other” trailer (single wide) . . . only the main trailer had a working toilet, so if you had to go to the potty in the night you had to walk outside, up the leaking porch, back inside – all the while walking on slugs.

    Haven, when you talk about stepping on the “squishy thing with an eye” in COUCH and Rick and Melinda come and take care of it – – – oh, I was like – I’m glad (and how LUCKY) she had her socks on!!!

    I don’t know what my point was – oh, that we are lucky to remember so many golden moments and that, regardless of subsequent events, we can treasure the beautiful parts of our childhoods and parents and grandparents (but not the siblings so much because they beat the crap out of us or snatched us baldheaded after we get home from the hospital in 1st grade where we spent our birthday after having our festering tonsils removed) . . .

    It all goes back to that sanctuary we have inside ourselves. I will take every crumbling piece of my memory because the treasured moments I would not trade for anything. My sister doesn’t understand how I have so many happy memories or why I was a happy child (and there is LITTLE reason really), but I think you can’t just pick and choose what to experience. You can, however, pick and choose what you celebrate.

    I’m so glad you found so many things to celebrate as a child and that you have had the strength to go back in time and share them with us.

    I’m so grateful that Mother Delonda and Melinda were so giving . . . I love the dedication where you mention that these memories are lent to you (don’t have the book in front of me and I am stuck on the couch again – PUT I WILL GET UP OFF OF IT!)

    I’m rambling . . . and I haven’t even started my thoughts on time . . .

  111. We should have a little offshoot book club about Couch. I’ll just say it: I love all your books, Haven, but Couch this weekend reattached itself to my heart. Maybe it’s because of the HUGE context I have for it now because of the blog and what you wrote this afternoon, but I don’t think that entirely explains it.

    Will someone please step up and speak for me?

    Thanks…

  112. Dorian, don’t cry! It will work out for you tomorrow, I know it will. 🙂

    Everyone, I’ve decided that the position of Resident Baker has been vacant for far too long. So, I accept the position. My office is located in Dorian’s bathtub. (Right?)

    :: drumroll :: Election Cake!

    Rumor has it that this New England treat was baked on election days and only given to those that voted a straight ticket. 😉

    2/3 C Warm water
    2 pkg Dry yeast
    3 2/3 C Flour
    1 C Butter, softened
    2 Eggs, beaten
    2 C Brown sugar
    1 C Sour milk (buttermilk)
    1 tsp Baking soda
    2 tsp Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp Cloves
    1/2 tsp Mace
    1/2 tsp Nutmeg
    2 tsp Salt
    1 1/3 C Raisins
    2 C Dried figs
    1 C Walnuts or pecans, chopped
    1 Tbsp Flour

    Grease two 9x5x3″ loaf pans.
    Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over. Stir, and let stand for five minutes to dissolve. Add 1 Cup of the flour and beat until well blended; the mixture will be quite stiff. Add the butter and beat until smooth, then add the eggs, brown sugar, buttermilk, 2 2/3 C flour, the baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg and salt, and beat for 3 minutes.
    Toss the raisins, figs and walnuts in the tablespoon of flour to coat them, then add them to the batter, and stir to mix throughout. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Cover loosely with a towel and let rest for 1 1/2 hours.
    Preheat the oven to 350* near the end of the resting time. Bake the cakes for about 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.
    Start testing for doneness at 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

    And Haven, I will gladly send my recipes elsewhere, if you only tell me how. 😉 Until then, I shall clutter up your blog with seasonal recipes. 😉

  113. I am a firm believer in time travel, Sher.

    Thanks, too, dear, for putting in words what I was trying to get at with what I was trying to say about Couch.

    With me, I was never aware of my family’s financial situation when I was a kid growing up. It was modest — had to be because Dad was a mechanic — but there was a richness to it that trumped income, three children sleeping in a tiny room, fans instead of an air-conditioner, clothes I could “grow into.”

  114. “but not the siblings so much because they beat the crap out of us or snatched us baldheaded after we get home from the hospital” …

    Or, to a lesser extent .. feeding you 9-Lives cat food? Siblings *are* wonderful, aren’t they? 😛

  115. Ok – before I became a real Tennessean (6 years ago) I lived in Florida for 9 years. During the first aforementioned election (2000) – I lived in the Panhandle area at Destin. We were Central time.

    The freaking media called that election while I was standing in line to vote . . . I watched 10’s of people walk off the voting line. Watch “Recount” (a docudrama on HBO or Showtime) for a real historical and political version of what happened. There were AND still are many other States which make continuous mistakes at polling AND voting sites – I can name 10 that have happened here in TN in the past week. The media coverage and speculations greatly exacerbated the situation – and is not the Florida voters who screwed up themselves. So let’s name the evildoers and not make stereotypical accusations. If it is the non-regulation of voting places or the mismanagement of counting systems or voting apparatus – blame the proper person(s) or thing(s). Because that election outcome was not my fault. Or my fellow neighbor’s fault. Or my fellow citizens who resided in Florida in 2000.

    It actually came down to a few counties within Florida (and, FYI- FL has more counties than most regions have put together). I just don’t buy that one
    State is totally responsible for the total outcome of the past two elections (althought the dominoes all landed on that end of the continent). . . I think it is what is called a political scapegoating, and I don’t buy that.

    I am not looking forward to the minute-by-minute coverage of talking heads tomorrow. I voted weeks ago. I did my part. I believe we are going to be triumphant, but I am not going to make myself crazy.

    When I was in Italy last year they were having major anti-war and anti-american rallies and demonstrations (yes, effigies hung in the town squares of Venice, Bush heads on poles [I could have carried that one]. I hate the polarization and at some point, because I believe we can evolve, it will be more about commonalities than differences and fingers can quit pointing in all directions. One must start with personal responsibility and cast their one vote.

    period.
    finito.

    Re Obama’s grandmother – he loved her and saw her when she was alive. She has supported him from his birth and would want him to be where he is needed for our Country. He has been able to prepare for her passing and while it is sad, I think he is doing the right thing and honoring her wishes. Sometimes the last wishes are hard to enact – like when my father-in-law, dying from throat cancer, made my husband and I promise not to tell anyone else in the family (he wanted them to visit or not, not just because he was dying) – we are still suffering from that choice to this day – but we know we kept our promise. And there was great comfort in being able to say, we followed his wishes, we don’t agree with them, but they were his dying wishes.

    One great thing is that I think by voting, we EARN the right to free speech to criticize. So many Americans have never sacrificed a damn thing for the Country. We are in a state of crisis, but our opportunities to pursue our own happiness is more than many humans ever experience. We can pursue our happiness – but is not OWED to us.

    I loved the Pursuit of Happyness . . . that is so much about helping oneself.

    My ranting is over.

    And I still haven’t addressed “time”

  116. Kittery & George –

    Those siblings – I have a photo of me, my sister, and my little brother, all tangled limbs sleeping in the backseat of a car in the early 70’s. It is sad and yet one of the dearest possession I own. From afar it looks like some bizarre orgy, but then you figure it out and you are like – wow. We all had the chickenpox the same week and even the newborn baby, only six days had pox on his baldhead (even though the doctor said it was IMPOSSIBLE) . . .

    my mom’s brother once threw her kitten down the outhouse . . . he got lickin’s and grandpa made him fish the kitty out of the hole . . . he would also throw her shoes down the outhouse and she would get licked for lyin’ ’bout the loss of said footwear

  117. pets –

    I love nature but am basically afeared of four-legged, two-eyed, bigger than a cat creatures.

    The weirdest thing happened to me today. After hobbling to meet Linda for lunch (it was fabulous as she said and she just Sparkles with health and authenticity) . . . I had some other museum meetings and a went on a long walk in Hillsboro Village with my friend Adrienne and her new baby . . . the day in TN was ideallic – just gorgeous.

    We both gasp as we walk by this bizarre and heartwrenching scene. A large black cat was lying in the road, obviously dead. Standing over it was a tan boxer dog. At first we thought it was dragging or eating the cat. But then we both stopped and looked at each other and we didn’t know what to do. The dog got closer to the cat and stood over it and just stared at us . . . then we saw another IDENTICAL boxer sitting right there. the dog worriedly (to me) paced about and Adrienne was like “he is protecting it” and we heard some low keening . . .

    this so reminded me of hiking in Lake Lure, NC and coming across a swarm of butterflies. The closer we got was weird because there were some on the ground and hovering in the air . . . there were hundreds of dead butterflies on the ground (it had rained and they were in puddles, probably got wet and couldn’t fly away) and the living were just hanging about . . .

    That is why that series of work is called “Mourning in Lake Lure” and I used some of the collected butterfly wings – I keep them in a U2 CD case and sometimes just get them out and stare. And I mourn.

  118. GEORGE – yes to the Couch book club!!!

    Also, I have been listening to lots of Augusten’s audio books and I am now reading aloud like them (which is very similar to my ear) – and when I read JUNIE B. JONES to Claire, I do Zippy’s voice and Augusten’s narration – she loves it and just screams with delight!

    I’ve also been trying to read aloud without making tummy or mouth noises and it is NIE ON IMPOSSIBLE and I get so out of breath – what a talent!

    Now I only need some Suzanne Finnamore audio and I will have my Holy Trinity!

  119. Amy-in-Ohio:
    “emotional thread of childhood”
    that is honey to my soul, beautiful and evocative phrase.

    May I copy it into my journal of inspirational words? I will write your name below it???

  120. Amanda, I agree with Haven that Barack’s grandmother knew what he had achieved. And she will be there with him because she is part of him. I believe she was quite ill so perhaps she made it right down to the end and let go so he could go on without worrying about her. There must be some comfort to him and his family to know she is not suffering.

  121. I came in on this WAY too late in the evening, because now I want to comment on EVERYTHING. 🙂

    Time: I took a very strange course in college called “Time-based Art”. To this day I don’t fully understand what that class was about (it was retired the following semester), but one of the required texts was an Alan Lightman novel called “Einstein’s Dream”. It was an EXTREMELY provoking read (likely credited more to Einstein than the author), and since then time has been this horribly elusive, dizzying idea. I sincerely believe that the contemplation of time will make you completely batty. Maybe Arizona has the right idea, after all.

    Pets: Haven, you are not alone in your preference for adult animals. I have a beautiful long-haired orange cat – so pretty, in fact, he could be in cat food commercials, were he better behaved. (Which he is NOT. I will not be retiring on a Tidy Cat fortune.) When he was a kitten, however, a great game was to wake me in the dead of night by springing from my chest and punching me directly in both eyes – one paw in each. It doesn’t take many nights of this behavior to make you suspicious of any cat under the age of 2.

    Couch: I was very touched by the story of how your family bonded together to help you meet the deadline of this book, at a time that was no doubt very difficult. When my father died a few years ago at only 52, I wanted very much to gather his stories. He was always a storyteller – reminiscent of “Big Fish” without the lies. However, when I put out the request several months after he passed, I received virtually no response. From this very large family (Dad had 10 brothers and sisters) came only one reply. My aunt had written me all the things she could think of – road trips, childhood pranks, how my father had helped her move time and time again and was always infuriated when she insisted on packing all her things into clumsy black plastic trash bags. I was heartbroken by the unresponsiveness of my family (though, they’d lost a brother, a son, a friend…who could blame them?) but that single effort put forth by my aunt has always struck me as one of the kindest, most selfless things that anyone has ever done. I’m sure you feel the same about your mother and sister.

    Lastly, to Sher, as a kid I once jumped into a pile of leaves and emerged with a slug in my hair. Which was a real shame…because I could never bring myself to jump into leaves again. 🙂

  122. Okay, Miss kittery, only I am adding Kahlua to that recipe. And you can sleep in my bathtub anytime. The couch is pretty comfy too. BTW. My dearly beloved Rolf found the official ballots with the bills that were to be mailed in his pile of things to do. Thank DOG. And if you all knew how I spent my morning you would pee your pants. My dear old dad (84 years old and in the early ((or mid)) stages of dementia, has of late forgotten how to use the phone. So I (me) being the only one in the family who has been in contact with him for the last twenty years, except for our slight falling out, which happened about three years ago when I planned a family reunion with my two sisters, my dad and myself, to which no one showed up (unless you count Rolf and myself). In any case, two years ago said family reunion happened without me. My two sisters that are my dad’s kids and my mother went out to Livingston, Montana where my dad resides. I opted out. They all told me he was getting dotty, which I did not believe, since I have talked to him five times a year for the last twenty years and knew he was as cagey as a cat. This is going to be really long so if you are bored give up now, because this is not Tolstoy. I called my Dad about six weeks ago and realized that indeed, he was losing his grip on memory, addition, mechanics, and most importantly driving, because there are no stores with in walking distance of his house. And as far as I know he is surviving on pinto beans and supplements. I convinced my family of his impending doom and my mother, who he has been divorced from for over thirty years, agreed to try and evaluate his state of mind and general health over the phone. She is a nurse practitioner, BTW. I talked to her on Saturday and she told me that she was going to fly to Montana from Los Angeles in order to show him how to use the telephone and try to convince him to come back on the plane with her and move him into a spare bedroom in her home in order to spare him a Montana winter, what with icy roads, shoveling out the driveway and excessive confusion with modern technology not to mention being unable to navigate out of said driveway, which is on the main highway to Yellowstone National Park. She made me promise to call him on Sunday and try and cajole him into agreeing with her plan. I called at 7am, 3pm and 7pm. He did not answer the phone for the first time in twenty years and his answering machine was full so I could not leave a message. Rolf checked the weather in Montana on the internet and said it was in the 60’s and clear so I thought, “Maybe he is out getting rations and taking care of business before hibernation.” I called him at 7am this morning and he did not answer. Which is odd because he trades commodities and gets up at 5. I called my sister and said “I am calling the Montana fire department, I do not care what any of you think.” Typical Drama Queen. So I called and they referred me to the local police (He hates the police, he is a survivalist who moved to Montana to escape the government FGS.) who told me that they were busy but would send county services out to see if he was ok. My dad lives like Ted Kadinski would have if he had had a cleaning woman. He does not believe in chemical products and his house is falling apart at the seams. I begged them not to send social services because they would see the squalor in which he is living and decide he was a danger to himself and the community and cart him off to the county hospital, to which his response would be to oil one of his many antique fire arms and defend his freedom. I am trying to make this short, but it is not working out. Any how, they sent a squad car out, with a charming police officer, who knew my dad was armed and tried to knock and cajole and get a response from the house to no avail. The windows were boarded shut and there was no way to get in. In the meantime, my mom and sister called the deputy handling the case and established that my dad’s car was in the driveway and he was probably suffering from a stroke or some other medical emergency. That wonderful officer spent an hour and a half trying to find a way into Fort Knox without getting shot at. He finally had to leave for another emergency and came back a half hour later and my Dad’s car was gone. He must have been holed up in there like Wyatt Earp watching that officer of the peace and thinking Marshall law had finally come to pass. He got the hell out of there the minute he had the chance, which makes me think he has some of his wits left. I only hope he is on his way to California, and that he never looks back.

  123. As usual way too much to respond to!

    Love this post, Haven. It started out light, then took me to unexpected deep places. It bears re-reading, tomorrow after work when I can settle in with it.

    Our gender-conflicted cat, a boy named Sophie, was rescued, and he has come miles in his PTSD recovery, but he’s still weird around men, terrified of cars, and has a lot of quirks. I don’t think he’s smart enough to actually remember, but it’s definitely in there somewhere. We know what was done to him and his behavior makes purrfect sense considering where he came from.

    I think Barack’s grandmother is going to be very proud of him tomorrow. (Of course, I’m sure she was everyday anyway.)

    Haven, I did get an email from you at around 3:30 PM. Looking forward to your input.

    And what a beautiful story about the writing of Couch. Thanks for sharing these little bits of your world with us.

  124. Dorian. It’s like every new detail in that story was another knot tied — you know, the ones that get tighter the more you move? What a nightmare. Hoping he is on his way to California. His timing sure couldn’t be better (Montana in the winter, my dream vacation).

  125. Well, Dorian, I am just of a wonder about that story. I was reading it intensely interested, and it wasn’t until I got the end that I realized I was reading a comment on my own blog. In my mind I was going: two sisters cut him off. She had a family reunion and no one came. Her mother is willing to go get him, and they’ve been divorced 30 years. He’s a survivalist libertarian gun owner with dementia and a driver’s license: that sounds about right. God above, is he going to harm Officer Nice Man? And now he’s ABROAD IN THE WORLD SOMEWHERE, having a constitutional? What a very lot there is going on in there. Do let us know what happens.

    p.s. Of all the details in the story, the one that caused me to understand him the best was ‘cagey as a cat.’ I thought, ah ha. There could be countless reasons his children won’t speak to him, I can’t imagine I can discern those, but I know cagey men. Smart, can’t catch him, answers everything at a slant, finds all sorts of alleys toward what he wants or wants to avoid. Very interesting.

  126. Haven — The Used World came today — thank you so much! I am going to mark it up without mercy.

  127. dorian –

    I just loved every word of your last posting – somethings require referential facts, so don’t feel bad about a long post (of which I am equally guilty).

    I was watching this report on agism recently – it was done to help family members and caregivers understand the elderly. for instance they made the people put cotton balls in their ears, wear rubber gloves, and put corn kernels in their shoes. This simulated the decline of hearing, the ackwardness from arthritis, and the pain and slowness of bone spears and other potiatrial decline. The also discussed training in which the participants wrote done on sticky notes one item or person or activity they cherished . . . then as they were doing other things these items would individually or several at a time be taken away from them.

    It was unnerving to watch just the simulation of loss of everyday comforts/joys:

    knitting
    pets
    driving
    shopping
    travel
    husbands
    children
    parents
    friends
    gardening . . .

    I have always adored the elderly and LOVE to talk to them. Like MICHELLE I have attempted to collect the folklore of my family . . .

    it reminds me that my grandparents (whom I no longer speak to) are losing the freedoms one at a time as the reach their 90’s . . .
    but I have never been so terrified as I was when I saw those GRANDS driving up the wrong side of the median to our house/subdivision in Atlanta 18 years ago – I thought then: it is time for them to STOP driving.

    So what I am saying is – kudos to you for caring and being there for him in every way you can. It is a delicate balance to help them with care while trying to protect their dignity.

    He sounds like the kind of ornery old coot (compliment!) I hope to become . . . cabin in the wilderness and ALL!

  128. bone spurs . . . not spears! crap!

  129. Time:

    it is imposed on us arbitrarily.

    We know I don’t take kindly to being told what to do, when to do it, or why . . .

    thus, I hate clocks and bedtimes and work times and . . . and . . .
    never had my babies on a schedule!

    If they crapped, I changed their diapers.

    If they were hungry, I fed them.

    If they were tired, I put them “down” (that phrase has always freaked me out, isn’t that what you do to dying pets? I actually rocked them, danced with the walking tape (Bette Midler/Bette of Roses), tucked them in to their own cribs.

    If they were hungry, I fed them one way or the other.

    In a way I loved those times – we just did what we needed to . . . it was disturbing to interrupted at noon when hubby came home from work for lunch – and I was usually still in pj’s, because (I maintain this today) why should you put on outside clothes unless you are leaving your driveway??? A clean pair of pajamas will suffice quite well, thank you!

    Also, what is time:

    24 hours make a day
    60 minutes make an hour
    60 seconds makes a minute
    _____ makes a second
    ______ makes a ______ . . . how incremental before we get to air and nothingness?

    TIME IS THE ULTIMATE IMPOSITION!

  130. He is most often quoted as having said

    no one can step in the same river twice

    i’ve always held this truism close. it has saved me the mistake of toiling to recreate a certain experience — those perfect, blissful miracles that happen — both with people and with things.

  131. Sher…meee too. All of the above.

  132. i’m getting all “bent out of shape” as my dad would say reading some of this and while i could pretend that i am terribly compassionate and overwrought about life and its losses – the truth is that i drove all day yesterday and didnt get home until 2am before going to work in the morning. so. the best thing for ME would be to bid you all good night and get some sleep.

    you all really are the best people in the whole world.

  133. Kate – you are so concise, I envy that !

  134. I owe it all to twitter.

  135. twitter . . .

    and, after several e-mail requests, here is the erswhile ebay listings I posted:
    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=sher+fick&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    but I am NOT highjacking this blog 8( , I promise!

    I am stuck on the couch (I can’t even say that without cracking up) . . . this might have something to do with dropping the hammer and staple gun on my head last week?

    I wonder what a body scan would reveal? I think that would be so interesting to do –

  136. my comment gotten eaten, aten . . . disappeareded,
    I’m talking like Junie B. tonight

  137. Kate? what’s twitter? what?

    ummm, yes (responding to emails here), will try to post this AGAIN

    not an advertisement, this is a request response, my ebay store is:

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=sher+fick&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    and if this doesn’t go through, I surrender to the gods of fate,

    and
    WHY are all my “y”‘s disappearing . . .
    mayhap, I needs another painkiller . . .or a new laptop?

  138. nope, it isn’t meant to be . . . wordpress doesn’t like my link . . . thus I am fated to be unheard and unseen . . .

  139. Sher, thank you for that fabulous reading of COUCH. There was a better time for my siblings before I was born as well, although nothing so dramatic happened as with your family. Your mother’s was not a downward slide: that’s a plummet. (Curiously, I too was supposed to be a boy, not because anyone preferred it but because all the spookies — including my sister — intuited it, and my sister is never wrong about such things. I was going to be named Jason Edward. They called me by his name all through Mom’s pregnancy. I am SO not a Jason. It would have been a wretched mismatch. I wish Mom had given me her rejected name for my brother, Blade Hollister. Now I most assuredly AM a Blade. So is my brother, for that matter. Maybe we should both adopt it as adults. “Hi, I’m Blade, and this is my brother, Blade, and that’s my sister, Melinda.” In her heart she would want the name too but would hide it by mocking us, when clearly there is nothing to mock. If you saw the two Blades walking toward you with business to discuss, you would not think comedy.)

    This comment took a turn, didn’t it. All I meant to say was I’ve found that whatever a person’s circumstances were growing up, in terms of living conditions, if there is NOT sexual abuse or psychological torture and there is a reasonable amount of joy, we are mostly resilient creatures. And I’d take the way we lived in Mooreland on its darkest day (and I don’t merely when the power had been turned off again) over growing up the way many wealthy children do now, particularly those connected to the media: drug-addicted, alcoholic, eating disordered exhibitionists who are so vocationally stunted the only thing they can possibly ‘do’ in the world is declare themselves ‘designers.’ I’m talking about people who have spent far less time with a needle and thread or sewing machine than my sister, who — true story — once discovered she had lost so much weight on a new diet that none of her church clothes fit, so she ran upstairs to her fabric room and made herself a new skirt on Sunday morning while her family got ready for church.

    The problem with living conditions like yours or mine or that of countless others is that they reflect, almost without exception, identical chaos in the adults in charge, and chaos is not good for little beasts. I am a person of outrageous luck and good fortune, and figured out as an adult that no matter what was going on in my parent’s marriage or to us financially, I recall my childhood as a benign one because we are not chaotic in the brain region, the Jarvises. She might have been too unhappy or disappointed (I don’t know what word she would use) to do much more than sit on the couch and read, but even as the house fell down around us That Delonda never showed it. She believes in being in a good mood the way other people believe in fiber. Her mind is rock solid, she was never unpredictable, her values and ethical system are entirely sound. My father was much more problematic, but still the perfect father for me. He designed and brought into being the most sublime moments of my life, before he left, and both of my parents were (and my mom remains) INSANELY funny. And of course there was Melinda, who never would have allowed anything bad to befall me. As Leslie puts it, the children who survive are the ones who are held in an invisible bowl of love and protection. The details often fall away. I remember all the details AND I got the invisible bowl. Who cares if we spent the winter all living in a single room around a stove? I honestly don’t think anyone complained, and we lived in a farm town where people were living harder than we were everywhere we looked. That’s the only way I can explain why I feel like I struck gold, in terms of where and to whom I was born. I didn’t lack for what really mattered, never. And at the very moment that world went black, my mother took her hero’s journey to Ball State and saved my life in an even bigger and more dramatic way, by showing me how to be ambitious without being venal. Ultimately, none of the ugliness of my teenage years is of consequence, and most of it is behind a scrim. I’ll take rural poverty with my family over the wealth of any other, and that’s not just the popcorn talking.

    p.s. We were close enough, on many occasions, to genuine disaster that I have a strong kinship with those who didn’t, and when I meet someone like you, Sher, who can own the past and be so generous at the same time, and make beautiful art and be a good mother and wife and friend, I’m amazed at the capacity we have. Some kids just fly away, shake the dirt off their wings. A lot of you reading this were that type of monkey, even if you didn’t know it, even if no one did. I don’t believe, for instance, that I was ever told I had even acceptable intelligence when I was growing up, not by anyone but my mother. In some cases it was because there wasn’t value placed on it; if you were smart enough to do whatever your job was and get by, that was enough. It’s also possible I was very, very stupid. Maybe I was addled by song lyrics, or candy bars. My point is I was a HIGHLY substandard child. I was exceptionally below substandard, in fact, and remained so through high school, so no one can say I got by on my wits or the support of a teacher or the fact that I knew I was special. This isn’t a movie, over here.

  140. Dorian, dear, one word: Damn. You situation is now on my list. You know what I am talking about? It’s a list of thoughts and intentions and affirmations I drag over to the other side. Though I am generally asleep when this transfer occurs, I would liken the list to the postings on this blog. Each get read. Most get a response.

  141. Dorian,

    Who says it needs to be Tolstoy? If that’s a requirement then I’m already out, lol.

    My dear, after all that, feel free to pour in all the Kahlua you need. 😉
    Do you know of any friends he might try to find, now that he’s out?
    In any case, I hope he’s safe and that you get reassurance of some kind.
    (And I’m very happy that your voting information got straightened out!)

    As sick and twisted as this sounds, reading about your day took my mind off what happened to me tonight. All of a sudden, my eighteen year old niece asked me out of the blue, “are you a lying backstabber”. Obviously, I was taken aback, as I consider her not only my niece, but as a little sister. I asked her why she would even ask me that (normally, a person would have SOME reason for asking/nearly accusing a person of that, right?). I tried telling her that I was surprised and hurt by that question, and asked her why she would even ask, and things got even more out of control. I got so angry with her at one point, I told her that she was “out in left field” and “had issues” if that’s how she treated people without justifiable cause. Then she proceeded to get indignant (I did tell her she was out in left field, so .. not wholly unexpected) and told me that I had far more issues than she, and what has she ‘ever done wrong’. This is already after she badgered me one night about three weeks ago, demanding to know if I was pregnant (I know you guys don’t know me, so how would you know, but .. she’d seen me less than a month before – obviously, NO, I am not pregnant). Asked me if I’d ever been pregnant, asked me whether or not I was a virgin and how far I’d gone, and then, when I tried to tell her it was none of her business, she refused to understand why not, then preached to me about how good she was, she said, and I quote, “well I’ll tell you I’ve never even kissed a boy before”. Then a few nights ago she demanded to know whether I had any gay friends (this was brought up because she found out I like Rufus Wainwright’s music) and when I said yes, she demanded to know whether or not I was a lesbian, and how could I not be, since I had gay friends. I tolerated her questions about abortion, because at least I could pretend that was an academic question. I was so hurt and angry tonight, I told her I was sorry, but I had to sign off as I had better things to do than have a purity contest with her. The last thing I know is, she messaged me while I was offline saying “SORRY!” and “I didn’t mean to turn it into this.”

    All of you are, um, a bit more evolved than I, and .. I know I didn’t handle this in the most adult fashion, but can anyone tell me how I’m supposed to take this treatment? She insinuates that I’m a dirty whore with (in her mind) questionable preferences, wants to know if I’m “trustworthy” and continues to walk all over me.
    I am not perfect, far, far from it. It just .. hurts and pisses me off that this eighteen year old girl who knows so little can treat me like trash. If she doesn’t think I’m worth it, fine. Don’t talk to me, but .. I don’t get this.
    I didn’t mean to turn the post into my own little drama .. it’s just .. any guidance would be very much appreciated.

  142. George, I read them all too. The time it takes has had a disastrous effect on my golf game. John might not even review our membership at the country club, which will disappoint my mother; we’ve held membership there for seven generations. And I’ve all but quit my position as a Volunteer Rodeo Clown. No doubt you realize the importance of our work; even as child, watching the rodeo on television, I could see that in an emergency, everything depended on that brave soul with the wig and the red nose.

  143. My first wife’s parents raised their four daughters in a tiny, tiny house in Glezen, Ind. A couple of years after Ann and I were married, we went to visit them. It was in early winter and their oil stove wasn’t working. I told them I’d fix it, though I didn’t have a clue. For some reason, maybe they had run out of options, they let me, so I basically started taking the thing apart and cleaning it. I was a young guy in those days and young guys can do anything because: 1. They are too stupid and full of testosterone to have a clue about what they cannot do. The miracle of this story is that when I finished, I hooked the tube up, lit a match, and the thing worked. The next winter, our first son was born. We were living in a house outside Troy, Ind., and fighting a daily war with rats. The night before my son was born, I came home from the newspaper and discovered that they had chewed through a wife in the refrigerator. I remember rewrapping that wire with electrician’s tape and a few hours later, taking my young wife to the hospital. I don’t know what the point of this posting is, except to say, there’s a ton of stuff out there that you just wind up doing.

  144. Geez, Haven, give up your golf membership and volunteer rodeo clown!!! You simply must find more time in your day. How about another hour of daylight savings time?

  145. This blog has been really good for me today. It’s been a tough day, and I’m still not sure what it all means, but I appreciate coming here, and reading your thoughts. It’s a real balm to my soul.

    Kittery, your cousin sounds young and confused. I would work on keeping your mystery, and not dignifying her line of questioning with a response.

  146. Ha…ha.ha…ha….I must be getting tired or my fingers are. I just re-read my earlier posting and saw where rats had chewed through my wife in the refrigerator…..

    now that, is dyslexia!!!!!

    i’m an idiot folks, a freaking idiot!

  147. Kittery, I’d become a sexual libertine surrounded by gay men. I would look fabulous because I gave up food for vintage clothing and tiaras and abortions. I would practice saying, as I said to a bartender one night of a particular martini, “Keep serving these until I’m blind.” If asked if I were pregnant I’d say it’s always possible; however, it is NOT possible to guess the paternity. I know Augusten would suggest you carry a small, pearl-handled revolver in your handbag at all times. I know what Melinda would recommend, too, and it involves the phrase “judgey little shit.” Whatever you do, never ever let go of Rufus Wainwright. I think your niece would especially take to his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No.2,” as it deals with some of the issues on her mind.

    p.s. You must also watch, right this minute, the documentary GRAY GARDENS, so you can learn to tie a sweater around your head as a sort of turban. This was a turning point in my own development.

  148. Well, Haven’s answer was better.

  149. I had a girlfriend once, who, when asked (and not by me because I already knew the correct answer) how many abortions she had, replied: Pick a number between 2 and 10 and I will tell you how close you are.

    I was in total awe of her about 73 percent of the time and in mortal fear the rest.

  150. George, there is nothing that compares to having a vivid past. I, too, have a history with animals that should have been outside deciding to just help themselves to the inside. None ever chewed through my wife, so most assuredly you are the victor there. Although it is the case that only two weeks ago I called Delonda and when she answered I said, “Mom quick: what was the name of those two raccoons who lived in our clothes hamper?” She said, “L’il Abner and Daisy Mae.” I said thanks and we hung up.

  151. Kittery –

    wow – that is a doozy.

    That sounds like some familiar territory. I can’t be detail oriented because I must protect the guilty . . .

    However, if you allow her to walk all over you, she will never have any respect for you. You have every right to your emotions and hurts. Of course you should be upset and responsive. That is not a bad thing, if she meant nothing to you then you would have a nothing reaction.

    18 year olds can be so “the world revolves around me and I am the only one right in the whole universe” – it is their way of finding a place for themselves in their own lack of esteem.

    As you can see, I will get feisty when I feel offended (above about FL or several post ago about “white trash”). Although I would feel bad (not really) if this hurt someone – I feel if you throw daggers the person in front of the blade should be allowed to cover their face or duck. that is just natural.

    We are trained as women and children to keep our mouths shut, take verbal abuse, and then say thank you.

    Some of my most length verbal situations have been with close-minded people. And the only way to change THEIR minds about what THEY think of you is to be:

    definative. You have to believe in yourself before someone else can believe in you. So, for instance, if somebody tells me I am going to hell (I hear this frequently). My reply is: I’m sorry you believe that, I don’t feel the need to judge you on your beliefs, I am happy you have found peace in your religion, I have my own beliefs and I feel that is private. This is opposed to my gut thought of: I am spiritually opposed to religion, especially your’s that judges people, and I was raised by the most spiteful “religious” people and I would rather go to hell than be in heaven with your kind . . . ”

    eh hem, that is an example of me controlling my temper, which is really always a mask for hurt feelings.

    I was in a very similar situation 1.5 years ago.

    If you click on my name above, I will send you some amazing transcritions from this situation.

    Somehow, while being attacked repeatedly I knew that I was undergoing one of the biggest ‘tests’ of my life. Testing my own soul and that my reaction to the accusations would be my best witness.

    While conversing, I remained deadly calm. But out of face-to-face I was on a crying jag for months. This is no joke or exaggeration.

    I was accused of every foul thing in the world. I did not recognize me in this person’s descriptions. I knew it was not so. So I held onto that and I was completely prepared to cut off the relationship, but left the “ball” or “sword” in said person’s court.

    I never lobbed one back.

    After months I got an apology. To this day I know that it was all about what was stirred up in that person’s life and nothing that I was exhibiting. In the end it was pure projection.

    It damaged the relationship, but I have gained a lot of respect from the individual because I did not get down in the mud with them.

    Maintain your honesty and your dignity. But do not lower your standards. That is conflicting advise, but I mean it that way.

    If it is ultimately abusive, then you have the right to cut it off, at least temporarily. It is impossible to have a rational conversation with an irrational being.

  152. Kate: when in doubt, describe oneself.

    p.s. Except I am even more scandalous, because rather than abortions, I just went ahead and had all the babies.

  153. yay for babies!

  154. Haven, I think I’m going to print that answer out and frame it. 🙂
    You, Melinda and Augusten offer excellent advice.
    Is it ironic that the more my niece kept saying her bullcrap, the more I kept pressing replay on Grey Gardens?

    And my niece might like Chelsea Hotel if she wasn’t so into Hannah Montana and Jessica Simpson (yes, she’s 18). 😮

    Laughing tonight has made me feel much better than wondering what in God’s green earth I could’ve done to make her love?/hate me.

    And Kate, your answer was good too. 🙂

    And P.S. I’ll be looking for that documentary and watching it as soon as I find it. 🙂

  155. The only raccoons we ever had in Troy were invited over, fed a couple of the dog’s Milk Bones, and then they left. Never got their names, though!

  156. I ask you, in Sher’s response, how did you feel when you saw the word BLADE? That feeling directly corresponds to my deepest nature.

    Mother, I hope you are reading this.

  157. Ha – our family friends in English, IN (down ’round French Lick) had a pet racoon named Honey, who had to weigh 60 lbs at least . . . she would sit inside in the rocking chair, legs spread wide, daintily eating fruit loops from the cereal box.

    I loved Honey.

    George – I loved your freudian/typo – and giving birth that night, she probably thought a rat was chewing through her!

  158. George, if I’d called mom and asked her what the names were of the two pigs who lived in the living room, she would have answered Porky and Bess, and I would have said thanks and hung up.

  159. Haven – I am OBSESSED with Grey Garden’s!!!

    Do you know that Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange have wrapped an HBO movie where Drew plays Little Edie??? It is coming out SOON . . .

    Also, there are many books on Edie’s fashion.

    My favorite quote is:
    “this is a revolutionary costume”

    To have her confidence (well, I guess we do!).

    Thank you also for your thoughtful response . . . sometimes I have to share a bit of history to relate that I really get something you are saying . . . how people cope is such a mystery to me and I just don’t how much is self-determined or pre-destined. Or what the age of responsibility is . . . maybe it depends on the amount of damage done?

  160. My mom would have said the same thing!

    Ask me about the album of Pig Love Songs my parents wanted to record.

  161. Haven “The Blade” Kimmel.

    Sher…I am still laughing. God,you are so funny and so smart.

    Kittery…she’s 18. I have always lived by the adage that if you live long enough, you will eat every word you ever uttered (glad I didn’t type, uddered.)

    I do truly love you all.

  162. Haven!

    I can’t take it anymore.

    What were the names of the two crows?

  163. Haven – I did say blade – oh, witchy!!!!

  164. George, very true. I just opened my inbox and she sent me an email saying, “I’m sorry, will you ever forgive me?” Good grief. I’m too old for this!

  165. One time my stepdad showed us a wastebacket full of white and pink baby mice (are they mousettes?) any way we oooooo’ed and awwwww’ed and watched them nurse (there must have been 20) and they he went in the bathroom and dumped a whole gallon of bleach in the wastebasket.

  166. Haven, the word ‘blade’ corresponds to your deepest nature? Then I’m no longer surprised that you carry a knife with you. 😉 By the way, did you ever ask your mentalist if he considered a hammer a weapon?

  167. Kittery – be an observer. And any 18 year-old who is excited about Hannah Montanna has deeper, more troubling issues!

  168. PORKY and BESS!!!!!

    I had to go outside and laugh out loud. That is so freaking funny.

  169. Vivid past.

    My freaking ex-asshole husband decided to blab mine all over tv . . . #(%%&&%&

    just hope my kids never see that talk show. They don’t even really remember that I was once married to rock star . . . but that was the 80’s and I was an idiot 18-22 year old!!!

  170. Dear god, Sher. Mouselings? :: sniff::
    I dump bleach on spiders (only the really big ones that get in the bathtub, ’cause I don’t want to get close enough to them to have them crawl on me, or feel their little exoskeletons go crunch).

  171. Kittery: you are not too old for this, trust me. I had a similar thing happen a couple of weeks ago.

  172. the mousettes – I remember how cute they were and being slightly started at the smell and splashy sound of the bleach . . .

    I don’t know how I feel about this – it just was, if that makes sense.

    But I have thought about this frequently and recently, so there must be something there.

  173. Georgie is right . . . but now that I am 40, I say:

    I’m forty and I don’t have to do what I don’t want to do . . . it works sometimes.

  174. why doesn’t the comment section have a spell check/ idiot proof guard . . . I sound more of a raving lunatic than I really am . . .

  175. Oh Sher…that story…

    I was so excited because you were talking about baby mice and one of my favorite memories was this thing they used to do at Christmas at the Zoo. They had a table full of dollhouses and there were mice running all over the table, and you always saw some new baby mice. I’m no fan of rodents, but in a natural setting or in an exhibit they don’t bother me, and indeed I found the whole thing fascinating. And then the end…ugh!

    Because I am terribly nosy I want to know about this rock star you were married to.

  176. Guess I better learn how to handle it, eh, George? It’s not that I don’t know how to deal with criticism, or just plain nastiness, it’s just .. very disconcerting to have someone beg you to stay online just a little bit longer, and then the next day, minute, do a 180.

  177. Haven –

    My boy name was going to be
    LANCE EMERY

    This is unbelievable –
    your BLADE and my LANCE,
    what a destructive duo we would have been . . . real outlaws!

  178. George, the crows were named Pete and Repeat. And I’m sorry I called you a whore last week, but you were acting like one.

  179. oh geez, that does sound a gay porno . . .

    Blade and Lance . . . you fill in the blank

  180. I knew Kate would say it. I was just waiting.

    Was anyone nearly named Scalpel?

  181. Pete and Repeat…oh LORD…I am going to fall over…

    My son is named Jarvis Danger. It means “Skilled with a Spear When Exposed to Evil.” I told Haven that, and she accused me of being high.

  182. I can’t laugh this hard, it hurts my back and makes me have to pee . . . that is what have 3 babies does to a girl

  183. Wait…what did you know I would say?

  184. Cupcake, you also told me to give my unfortunate taxidermy incident some of my autism powder to see if it that would make it better.

  185. Oh right. Nosiness. *SIGH* I will have to find another blog where people haven’t discovered my faults.

  186. K., you’d ask who the rock star was. Because you always ask the question I would ask, if I weren’t such a delicate Quaker.

  187. Well, did it?? I mean, did you TRY? It was a mere suggestion.

  188. That’s ok, Haven, I took it as a compliment. It’s really not about what is said, it’s the way it’s said, dearie.

  189. Oh good. I’m glad no one is holding this against me. Yes, I am TERRIBLE. I have no sense of privacy or decorum, but that extends to myself as well as others, so it evens out.

    Sorry to turn this blog into the ME show. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  190. My neighbor named her little terrorist, Conrad Stryker.

  191. No .. not Scalpel. I was nearly Leonard Micah. Not exactly dangerous..

  192. ex-rock star….karma

    gag orders, not that I give a flying crap, but

    . . . I can’t go there, it is my dark place . . . but he went back to being catholic (they didn’t acknowledge our courthouse wedding) and refers to our 2.5 year marriage as a relationship. It included various things that are “demonic” to the Catholics, including: new age dabbling/”devil worship”, some great pot, um, um, um, maybe this is a phone conversation and not a public blog conversation. I have more ethics than he his in his pinky toenail.

  193. And I am sure George knows that when I called him a turd I was instigating an affectionate pillow fight at our virtual slumber party.

  194. Just email me Sher. I’m dying!

  195. Kittery, your niece’s behavior sounds less like criticism or even nastiness than The Crazies. Your next conversation should go like this:

    GIRL: Are you a virgin?

    KITTERY: Do you have wild mood swings?

    GIRL: Has anyone ever paid you for sex?

    KITTERY: Do you find that you have an enormous amount of energy and can focus on tasks for long periods without feeling empathy for others, and then suddenly you are so depressed you stop bathing and can’t get out of bed?

    GIRL: Have you ever had gonorrhea?

    KITTERY: I call it “the vagina flu.”

  196. I was raised Catholic, Sher. My condolences to you.

  197. Kate: I loved the way you backed into that direct question via your observation about Christmas at the Zoo. Speaking of Christmas at the Zoo, have you seen that guy who lives out by Diamond Avenue and the huge display he puts up?

    And yes, who was that rock star?

    If you tell us it was Pete Townsend, I’d never repeat it.

  198. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  199. Katie, katie, katie: it was a turd of endearment, dearie.

  200. I had an amazing converstion with my 16 year old today from 4 pm – 7 pm, sitting on the couch, high as a kite from painkillers, we were discussing his harrassment by various Southern Bible Belt Fundamentalist Evangelicals at school.

    He is a deist and has trouble remaining patient when being witnessed to because they don’t want to hear what he thinks.

    So I am blah, blah, blah . . .

    when I just want to stomp in there and sue them for non-enforcement of the Separation of Church & State . . .

    but he needs to learn to stand on his own . . .

    I keep telling him to log on this blog

  201. Nope George…but I will try and look! My perfect Grandpa always took us out driving to look at lights and he always knew where all the gaudiest houses were, but I am afraid that information died with him, along with how to fix a car with a piece of yarn, a level and a pencil sharpener.

  202. what’s the cure for vagina flu? anyone? anyone?

  203. Turd of Endearment!

  204. :: laughs :: The Vagina Flu. I am going to use that. Someday, sometime, it will be used. (and due credit will be given, of course) 🙂

    To be honest, I have wondered if she swings a bit towards the bi-polar .. I’ll talk to her and she’ll be crying, and then twenty minutes later, laughing so hard she’s crying. :: shrugs :: I’m no shrink, but, that doesn’t seem normal (and I’m rather liberal with that term, hah).

  205. this is me ignoring the direct question, because then I won’t be Sher to you – I will forever after be the ex-wife of D- – – – – – – – – – S

    but I can claim, public, this other relation:

    I am the cousin of Johnny Damon’s ex-wife Angie Vannice. Johnny Damon saved the red socks several years ago . . . and I don’t blame her for leaving Ang – she pushed him away. And he deserves better!

  206. Sher, I tell Kate everything. I also ask her anything I want. It’s really quite a fine way to go about things.

    K., As you know, I tried putting Vaseline on the thing’s nose, and I attempted to do something about the tongue. He would have no part of my autism powder. Finally I came in and said to John, “That thing will not stop dying and it’s distracting me.” He went out to the barn with me, where it was lying on the chair, feet up. He said, “I think positioning him that way isn’t helpful.” But Kate, AS YOU KNOW I put him on the chair because I imagined it would look as if he were sitting on the chair, and HE DIED AND ROLLED OVER ON HIS OWN. John put him on the floor, looked at him, turned him so that the creature is staring at the wall. At you noticed in the photographs, the animal has a beautiful coat, as I gave him many many Beauty Parlors in an attempt at new life. Now when I walk in I just see his beautiful fur, and I note that he’s looking at the spine of the COLLECTED YEATS, and I think, “Well, that’s not so bad.”

  207. Do Ron Rons….

  208. What is autism powder?

  209. George, I don’t know the cure for the vagina flu, because I’ve only ever had the boogie woogie fever.

  210. Well, I am glad that worked out so well! Poor dog, it’s not his fault he’s so very extra dead.

  211. George – do you know what the b side was to Sean Cassidy’s Do Run, Run 45????

    For some bizarre reason I have always wanted to meet somebody else who knows this information.

    Hum, what can be my prize?

  212. HAVEN! I JUST SPIT ON MY MACBOOK SCREEN.

    I am supposed to be working right now, and I just can’t do it.

  213. Oh, and my mail is down again. I got one e-mail out to George and then zippers. Scott’s coming over tomorrow because he thinks he needs to reset my servers. I told him it seems that everyone is serving me very well already.

  214. Which by the way, I can now play on my newly, ebay purchased Holly Hobbie vintage record player that has a fake grammophone thing on it . . .

    I am fulfilling all my childhood dreams through ebay!

  215. Good question, Kittery.

    Haven?

  216. Sher…do you have the Holly Hobbie easy bake oven?

    Quick quiz…WHY is Holly Hobbie named Holly Hobbie?

    Haven, I think we both know what your servers need. It comes in a little packet.

  217. well as long as you can blog . . .

    Do you know that I just timed out the Art Fellowship grant I had been working on since 9 pm ??????

    Apparently you can’t save it . . . those bureaucratic REDTAPE bastards!

  218. Kate, can I tell them what autism powder is? And how do I begin such a task?

  219. I don’t know if we can even begin to explain it. But you could star by how you told Scott. Remember me. No privacy. No decorum.

  220. Holly Hobbie is the name of the artist who created her AND she also writes and illustrates the Toot & Puddle’s stories.

    AND, yes I have an easy bake oven, the toy (it really sews) sewing machine (blue), the rubber REAL HH dolls, 79 different types of vintage fabric, HH christmas ornaments, a HH reading light/lamp, HH display shelf . . . but I didn’t buy the HH sand sifter and sand pail I saw on ebay 2 years ago and it is
    MY ONLY REGRET!

  221. Sher: I thought that was the B side.

    Kate: forget grandpa, I’ll call you at Christmas. I’m old enough to be your grandpa anyway!

    Haven: The only cure for Boogie Woogie Fever that I know of is extended treatments of the electric slide or doses of the Hokie Pokie.

  222. i am guessing it is jock itch powder

  223. Do you have the BOARD GAME? It involves collecting sunbonnets, if I recall.

  224. Sher, you are incredibly close.

  225. PORKY and Bess!!!! WTF!!!!

  226. It was Christopher. But it doesn’t matter; I would have told pretty much anyone what I said to him. Although Christopher is different in that we are sort of pretend-married in a parallel gay universe. But in that world I also practice polygamy, and I am the one who gets all the spouses.

  227. I once spit wine all over my laptop when THEY (the google search engine) came up with this article when I was trying to find the lyrics to Que Sera, Sera . . .

    “it is a demonic philosophy which refrutes the bible, because it does not give homage to his omniscience”

    I couldn’t use my mouse for months . . . had to get a wireless one and have a mousepad nearly at all times.

    it. was. hell.

  228. Yay George! You’d make a fine Grandpa (are you actually old enough to be my Grandpa?? My Grandpa would be about 78 now.)

  229. Kittery — from your dialogue, I would have guessed she was pregnant.

  230. I knew it was someone important.

  231. Kate – that is Wishing Well and, of course!!!

    I also have HH sheets, pillowcases, paint with water books, word search books . . .

    but they must be VINTAGE . . . none of those mamby-pamby 80’s shit . . . however, Claire is ALLOWED to have the new HH dvd’s and dolls because HH is her great grandmother and she dresses in her bunnet and dress which she FINDS in the attic in a TRUNK….therefore, it is allowed. and she makes cupcakes and has a kitten named Snickerdoodle and a pig named Cheddar.

  232. Kate, in the year 2000 Delonda remarked, “Do you know your father and I would have been married FIFTY YEARS by now?” I said, “Do you know that Abraham Lincoln would have been TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE by now?” She is a very patient person.

  233. My grandfather would be 97..

  234. Carrie just SWEEPS in and trumps us all. GOOD MOVE, C.!

  235. ALSO
    i purchased a HH halloween costume for the 70’s

    those kind with the plastic mask with the stupid elastic bands which ALWAYS break and your nose sweats and drips in and the costume is only on the front and the back is a nasty one-color panel with a neck tie which SCRATCHED like the dickens.

    my children are afraid of that mask.

    rightly so.

  236. One might think, Carrie .. but according to her, Jesus looks like a man-whore in comparison to her virtue. :: snorts quietly ::

  237. One of the things I find interesting is that there was a whole section of thought I left out of this post, because it was already so long. God only knows what the trajectory of this conversation would have been if I’d included it.

  238. Kittery, Jesus was a man-cub. A lot of people make that mistake, but you can trust me; I went to seminary.

  239. Wait a second, did Sher write you and tell you who it was, KATECAKE?

  240. … normally I wouldn’t ask this, but .. define man-cub? I do trust you, I just .. don’t know what I’m trusting. 😛

  241. yes, good point Haven…

    I try to mention this blog in everyday conversation.

    Then I have to explain what it is about.

    I reply: “Philosophy, Theology, Poetry, Fiction, Everything, Farting, Politics . . .” and then I trail off in shock, myself

    at the restaurant today with Linda we asked some passersby to take our pic and i’m all ” we met on-line, we want to post pictures” and Linda was cognizant enough to say “um, friends, it is a writer’s blog . . “

  242. Like .. Mowgli man-cub, or am I missing some alternate definition?

  243. no.

  244. i can’t believe I slipped and said rock star when I could have kept to the very elusive musician status.

    EVERYBODY ran off and married musicians, right?

  245. Man-cub is what the animals call Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Because he’s obviously just wee, but smells like Human. Truly, truly one of the greatest nicknames in the history of the world. Jesus would like it VERY much.

  246. Man-cub! Hahahaha.

    NO. No email from Sher. I am highly distraught. I can’t get any work done until I know.

    DON’T TELL ME SHER. I’M A JOURNALIST.

    And all my friends thought you were an ax murderer that day we met at McDonalds. They should know better. I MARRIED an ax murderer off the internet.

  247. In our dreams, Sher. 😛

  248. Thankee. I thought so, I just wanted to make sure. 😉

  249. Let’s be clear though. My husband only murders bears. He was probably the one who killed the bear whose Torso George was made to investigate.

  250. It’s true, Kate found her husband Hank in the ‘Alternatives’ section of the PERSONAL ADS.

  251. I think someone is avoiding the question. Sher?

    Haven, glad you fessed up. I thought about ten percent had been cut from that post. It had a definite effect on my response.

    My grandfather would have been 126. True story: at my grandfather’s funeral, I was told to carry his casket to the hearse. My brother, sitting behind me, whispers in my ear: So you’re going to be a Grandpall bearer.

  252. it was a nightmare.

    and, don’t forget on that wedding day, I hiked up the waterfall and screamed “this was the stupidest, f)))))**** thing I have ever done”

  253. Hank knows how to skin a bear, and I know how to rustle up some bear stew. Match made in HEAVEN.

  254. I don’t suppose we could look up “musician weddings + waterfalls” and get any results, could we? 😉

  255. Sher, you are killing us.

    I keep thinking it’s Slash, from Guns and Roses.

  256. That was a true story about the bear torso, kid. I’m, too, am a trained journalist. I just don’t choose to practice my craft anymore.

  257. just a few weeks ago I met 3 couples, all together, all artists, who had all met on match.com

    I was STUNNNNNNNED

  258. i wonder if they would say that my Donny and I are compatible if we took a test?

  259. I know it was true!! I’m not confusing you with my son, who told his class that his father has killed seven bears.

  260. i am going to go rip up the last vestige of that marriage . . . a little piece of paper with a stamp on it . . .

    then I am going in my mom’s house and removing every picture from her photo album from the late 80’s

  261. Is it hypocritical to think that internet dating is a bit of a crock, while I’m writing on this blog?
    Then again, it’s not like I’m trying to fall in love..?

  262. George, that caused involuntary hooting.

    At my not-so-beloved grandmother’s funeral, Melinda and I stood at the casket during the calling hours, receiving visitors with Mother. Except that Melinda thought it would be fun to say things about each person approaching out of the side of her mouth, while smiling, sadly. She’s VERY VERY GOOD AT THIS. You can’t see her lips move at all. And I had just reached the point of hysteria, I mean I had held myself together for at least an hour, when a woman approached who was approximately three feet tall, wearing an elaborate tiny suit made of cream and white wool, and fluffy parts and big buttons, and a white and pink hat that was large and voluminous and with complicated furry parts and ribbons and whatnot, and it was already going to be difficult to speak to the little thing because Melinda and I are both quite tall, and M., said, out of her demon marionette face, “Oh look. It’s Little Miss Moppet.”

    I just turned on my heel and left the room, Walked right out.

  263. It was Frankie Valley who would later go on to force his Four Seasons to sing falsetto, his tribute single: Sherry. Here are some of the lyrics:

    Sherry, Sherry baby
    Sherry, Sherry baby

    Sherry baby (Sherry baby)
    Sherry can you come out tonight
    (Come,come, come out tonight)
    Sherry baby (Sherry baby)
    Sherry can you come out tonight?

    —-
    I added the punctuation.

  264. ha!

  265. My friend Fritzi was once given a Wanted poster. On it was her ex-husbands high school photo. You know, the one with the mullet and the t shirt with an eagle and lightening bolts.

    Do you see where I am going with this, Sher?

  266. Sarah Palin killed her a bar ‘fore she was only three.

    That’s Sarah, Sarah Palin, queen of the Alaskan frontier.

  267. I have to go play tooth fairy before I forget

    Claire came home today and had ripped out a touch in PE, stuck it in her pocket and then got of the bus saying,

    “Look at my gone tooth, Mommy!!!”

    Inflation has caused the price to go up to one dollar per tooth and she knows she has 28 because the freaking dentist counted them!

  268. Remind me to never wear anything fluffy around you and your tall family.

  269. George, I can’t believe you added punctuation. You don’t tangle with poetry that way, dude.

  270. Kittery, there is a big difference between internet dating sites and getting to know someone on a message board or blog. World of difference.

  271. Kate used to belong to a different blog and people were mean to her. When she told me I was MAD.

  272. Thank you, Kate.

  273. It was probably half my fault. I was mentally ill ala Sarah Palin style.

  274. I’m just a whore that way, Haven, a grammatical whore. Gimme a period and I’ll take a colon.

  275. George, if you’re old enough to be Kate’s grandpa, you probably don’t have a period anymore. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, you’re still a vital woman.

  276. Aw, there’s no reason to be mean to Kate.

    And Sher? I looked up the musician + waterfall wedding thing .. sadly the only thing that came up was Gay Weddings. It was worth a try…

  277. Thanks, it’s that autism powder that keeps me fresh and dry all day.

  278. Who could be mean to Kate? Can I be mad, too? Were they a bunch of bitches?

  279. What is the nature of Sarah Palin’s mental illness? I checked out of that story IMMEDIATELY. I sized up the situation and said, “Tell me nothing,” to the world. But now that it’s over, how would you describe what’s wrong with her?

    My diagnosis is she thinks she’s a Blade but really she’s an Ernie.

  280. I can almost trump George’s black leather jacket from Goodwill.

    I bought a Tooth Fairy Pillow there many moons ago . . . it has a tiny little 1 inch square pocket hanging off the corner and you can SNEAK in, remove the TOOTH, place the money in and SNEAK back out . . .without being caught

    (unless you trip in the line of barbies guarding the doorway from the attack cat (she is a toddler, too)

    I just crawled out with my broken back . . .

  281. the pillowcase costs 25 cents!

  282. we’ll gang up on those mean bastards in our Haven Blog Babies’ Taxidermy Tshirts and whip some tuckus!

  283. How do you nurture for pathological levels of confidence? We need to interview her parents.

  284. I think she was suffering from disassociative smugness…that and a clear case of demon possession by Baby Huey armed with a submachine gun. God, I can’t wait to vote in about three hours or so!!!!!!!

  285. This is the SAME conversation I had with D tonight . . .

    it is brainwashing and she/they are not sentient or self-aware ENOUGH to know what they personally think, so they adopt the beliefs and words of those that are cramming it down their throats – or –
    this is almost worse,
    they are so self-righteous, holier-than-thou that THEY BELIEVE THEIR OWN LIES
    ….
    scary, Hitler-type shit

  286. The Sarah Palin Disease. Hmm. Values her looks and personality above developing her brain. Has convictions but can’t back them up logically (and I’m not saying she couldn’t…I am just saying she doesn’t). And very concerned with maintaining perfection, to the extent that she is unable to really comprehend the brokenness that surrounds her, and as a result is unable to comprehend and acknowledge her own brokenness.

  287. hitler was a failed artist.

    Have you rented MAX yet???

    Rent it now!!!!

    Starring John Cusack as Hitler’s art dealer . . . get it, steal it, buy it . . .

  288. Nobody’s trumping my black leather jacket, sister.

  289. Quite, Kate Cake, her focus is askew.

  290. http://www.amazon.com/Max-John-Cusack/dp/B00008K77D

    9.99 DVD at amazon

  291. And Sher, if you don’t believe your own lies, how do you sleep at night?

  292. …despite her imperfections, and I will just admit this right out, I’d kiss her…and if she saw me in my cool black leather jacket that I only paid $25 for instead of the $150,000 that I look like when wearing it, she’d probably pucker up and say, right there, you liberal democrat, I can handle it.

  293. my sister had this dream about Palin:

    she is getting ready for a debate in a dressing room, she goes to put on some huge, white granny panties, and they fall to the ground . . .

    i.e., her position is too big for her
    (reverse of too big for her britches)

  294. For me, the real problem with conservatism is the idealism. If only everyone was like us, then things would be perfect. Fine. Great. Whatever. The fact of the matter is, even if that were true it AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

  295. we don’t know they are lies, because we believe them – the existential snake biting it’s ass . . .

    george, I was poking you about your jacket – I want your jacket

    -or-
    we could go riding on a harley – you in your jacket and me in my 80’s fringed, cropped black leather jacket . . . and I could tease my locks into Mall hair and wear Jean Nate AND Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific along with my raspberry beret….

  296. Sher?

    I know you were having email problems earlier, so, I’m just checking. I sent you one a while ago. I’m just wondering if it went through, or if you aren’t getting emails..

  297. wait – in my CALVIN KLEINs, which replaced my JORDACHE jeans . . .

  298. Thanks to my Aunt Dawn’s Co-Ed magazines I know EXACTLY what you are talking about!

  299. George, the powers that jacket has, the feats it is capable of performing, the minds it is capable of swaying (and not in spite of, but because of, its price tag), well, I believe you ought to wear it year-round, damn the DC summers.

  300. I went into the kitchen to get some cereal and when I came back the first comment I saw was Carrie’s, “How do you nurture for pathological levels of confidence?” And I thought she was talking TO me, ABOUT me, and I was going to answer, “I thought I’d covered that earlier, when I explained that confidence was not nurtured anywhere in Indiana during that particular era, and I personally was thought to be quite, quite useless. I think most people assumed I’d end up living under a porch, without invitation. I’d have to google how you nurture for it.”

    Then I was like, oh.

  301. Sherry Baby, you are asking me to go time traveling, and I am cool with that because I remember that shampoo, Gee, Your Hair Smells Terriffic!!!

  302. What kind of cereal?

  303. Kittery – just replied back, when this blog is active, I don’t really leave to check e-mail, I am too zapped to multi-task at 2 a.m.!!!

  304. Christopher ordered some blackmarket Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific! for me from the Philipines.

  305. I just got a Diet Coke . . . I am so screwed because my county is NO SCHOOL tomorrow and I already voted so I will be in the house with my monkeys . . .

  306. Sad as it is to leave, I’m getting a bit dense(r), and if I stay much longer, I may break out singing Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, or, I don’t know, Popular from Wicked, so … good morning, everyone, have A Very Happy Election Day!

    And thankee for the very helpful tips earlier. 🙂

  307. Oh, but I’m all for pathological levels of confidence! Just not in people who are repelled by the work required to live up to it.

  308. The kind of cereal is a long story.

  309. What’s he getting for it these days, Haven? Used to go for $1 a barrel. Times are different now.

  310. I remember thinking we were rich when we didn’t have to use the Dawn dishsoap to warsh our hair AND I coveted ‘Gee, Your Hair Smells Terric’ – I had some one time and some boy said it to me on the bus and I was in ego heaven

  311. I need a long story. I still have not written my lead.

    BLACK MARKET GEE YOUR HAIR SMELLS TERRIFIC?!?

  312. but that was probably the same boy who said my painting of a prairie girl with her dress and hair blowing in wind looked like a Kotex commercial

  313. Kittery – sometime in the next 24 hours I will send the insane transcription I mentioned – have a happy day!

  314. Good night, Kittery — I will join you. “…then there are those other things, which for several reasons we won’t mention…”

  315. Look what you can get for a mere $22!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-CLAIROL-HERBAL-ESSENCE-SHAMPOO-15-OZ_W0QQitemZ110306229141QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item110306229141&_trkparms=72%3A1205|39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A12|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

  316. Night, Kittery!

    Carrie, I was having a conversation with someone last night who had a student some years ago who believed he was a great writer, and couldn’t hear or believe anything else. Nothing could shake him from his opinion of his talent, when in truth he was not merely not great, he was very very bad. And he self-published a book right away, so he could say he was a published author and maintain the stance of his greatness.

  317. I’m drinking coffee…you know, this thing about Gee Your Hair Smells Terriffic unleashed a cascade of memories when my brother and I would assign alternate names to things.

    For example,

    Gee Your Hair Smells Terriffic would be, Gee Your Hair Smells Like Crap.

    Long John Silver’s was Long Nasty Saliva

    A Big Mac was a Big Crack

    the Pizza Hut was the Pizza Slut.

    We’d just roll our eyes, however, at Man’wich. It was perfectly named.

  318. now Kate – what is the story supposed to be about? We can collectively come up with a lead . . .

  319. Sher, he probably thought that was a pickup line.

  320. George, you could have gotten a job with the Garbage Pail Kids.

    I am writing an article about this BEAUTIFUL street in Evansville…it’s right in the middle of this very depressed area…you turn a corner and BAM! All these glorious victorian homes!

  321. Carrie – that is great!

    He crushed my art spirit for months!!! I won a blue ribbon at the Georgetown fair with that painting, but I could never look at it again without feeling shame.

  322. …that was really not a nice boy. He obviously wasn’t a Hoosier, who would never say anything like that, having no innate appreciation of art.

  323. NEVER self-publish. Never. Never. NEVER.

  324. Kate: where’s it at? Downtown? Let me have a crack at it. I probably know the neighborhood. Is it around Haynie’s Corner? I haven’t written a lead paragraph in years!

  325. Painted Ladies Lead Revitalization of _____, . . . . like an oasis

  326. I think I’ve said this before, but I seem to have been born without the shame gene. I know people who can feel shame over anything, and some who feel it in a free-floating way, not associated with any action. I never feel it.

  327. GEORGE

    It’s Wabash Avenue. WEST SIDE BABY!

  328. Haven, I am still patiently waiting to hear about this cereal. Cap’n Crunch? Cookie Crisp? Kashi Soy Granules?

  329. I really like WEST SIDE BABY! Wait, are we writing a musical? What’s the project again?

  330. George – you are so right – if only 5th grade Sher could have had you cheering her on . . . also, this is the same year a boy called me a faggot on the playground and I went home and asked my mom and older sister
    “what is a faggot”
    …I explain the context, and my mom
    mutters . . .
    “and they call themselves a christian school”
    I never learned what it was until years later . . .

  331. Haven, that is a great point, I had shame pounded into me, even if I didn’t exact fell it, I knew I was supposed to feel it . . . and I knew something about kotex involved women being cursed and dirty and being punished by god for eating an apple . . . it was a confusing time

  332. geez, I mean
    “exactly feel it”
    why can’t I edit myself before I hit – comment?

    It might be time for me to go to bed….

  333. Kate, I was in Whole Foods and noticed they had this frozen bread that had a prominent quotation from Ezekiel on the wrapper. It’s all kinds of healthy, that bread, which doesn’t interest me, but Scripture on the plastic bag does. I brought it home and Scott started calling it my Jesus Loaf. I told him Ezekiel is in the Hebrew Scriptures but as you know most of those outside this blog are heathen savages. Then one day John came home and had found cereal made by the same people, so I call it Jesus Crunch but that’s not its name, nor is it Biblically accurate. The cereal, too, tastes like rocks and twigs and larger pieces of bark. I eat it fairly often.

  334. Isn’t it most bendingly inexplicable when people like this hold these weirdly grandiose notions of the brilliance that comprises their talent? I knew a woman who was far, far beside and beyond reality in terms of how well she sang and performed. She related her indignation when someone asked her what she’d do with her fine arts degree from Cornish (our arts college here in Seattle). She said, uh, duh. Perform, of course. I mentioned, very gently, that perhaps she might get someone to video her as her only movement on stage was to sway from side to side, and not in time to the music. She said, I do?? Really?

    I don’t know. I still think it’s important to have confidence in one’s competence all outside of reason. Doing something well, though, does seem to require some very firm critique.

  335. frosted flakes
    fruit loops
    Corn POPS – !!!!!

  336. honeycombs!!!!

  337. trix are for kids!

  338. Had to leave you girls and go out in the backyard and take a whiz…what did I miss?

    Westside…westside, you say. Wabash Ave.? Not familiar with it, sorry.

    ————–

    Actually, young lady, I believe you have the kernel of it with what you wrote. Use the camera approach.

    ————-

    I don’t have that shame gene, either, Haven, and it’s a shame. I could have saved myself such embarrassment over the course of my life.

  339. Ah yes, I am familiar with Ezekiel bread. It’s super healthy, with all those sprouted grains. I do know a guy who finds it absurd that people would take that recipe from the Bible considering it’s the same bread Ezekiel was supposed to cook over human dung. Do you suppose the company takes it that literally?

  340. Not familiar with the Wabash Avenue of Flags? I’m not suprised, you pinko.

  341. Oh, Haven, I know that brand, too.

    It’s John the Baptist Honey and Locust Crunch.

  342. George, I just skip embarrassment, too. And regret. If I ever feel a twinge of regret I immediately stop it. Honestly, if you think about time enough, as we both seem to do, regret is a ridiculous waste of our life.

  343. in my quest for health, I am planning on eating ezekial bread when I am allowed bread in 2 weeks . . . I am a granola girl in theory, but a sweet tooth in practice . . .

    do you know they have Smores body lotion, etc. as Sephora and I am thinking, hum, is it edible and is is fat-free and when can I get me some? Because they say smelling chocolate actually activates the same neurons as the cocoa bean

  344. Oh wow…I just pictured a bowl of cicada shells covered with honey and milk.

    I personally prefer to wear them. A cicada shell makes a FABULOUS brooch.

  345. I gave up chocolate for Lent last year, and Hugh wasn’t sure if I should be allowed to wear my Hershey’s Lip Gloss.

  346. Hugh is strict.

  347. George, perhaps you will recall the Heathen Scourge I mentioned earlier. The quotation is from EZEKIEL.

    When your parents dropped you off at Sunday School, did they drive away really quickly? And was there a star painted on the door, a star inside a circle? Was the building very very dark inside, and everyone in the ‘congregation’ wore black-hooded robes? Did you ever see Mia Farrow there, maybe a little bun in the oven, hmmm?

  348. Well, he gets his strictness from all that bear meat.

  349. Haven: I wish I could select a couple of do-overs, but I don’t seem to have the regret thing either. Guilt, either. I have been shunned by Catholic and Jewish friends when late at night I tell them this.

  350. no regrets – that is why I just buy on ebay now instead of just clicking “watch” – how many Holly Hobbie treasures I have missed?!

    George- I have ))))-envy – because I have always wanted to pee standing up (not to mention outside) with out it dripping down my leg.

    In Europe they sell an apparatus that “cups” your womanly parts and funnels your pee in a directional way – but I just don’t see what they do with then . . . warsh it in the sink…carry it in their person, is it disposable, which would fill landfills with more plastic things . . . it was just too much trouble to contemplate any further AND I can just squat with the best of them, flush with my shoe and I carry my own toilet paper, because I am a Charmin loving snob . . . and seat covers, not that I ever get that close mind you . . .

  351. Kate, Nazarenes give things up for Lent?!? The ones I grew up with didn’t have anything left to sacrifice, especially the women. They would have had to cut off a pinkie or something.

  352. I once laid in bed and WEPT because I allowed my two year old to go through a haunted wood walk on Halloween that was far scarier than I imagined and it gave him nightmares. I mean, not once, but I cried about this several times.

  353. Envy, George, it is envy.

  354. I wonder how it happens, M. Stuteville, that neither of us feel shame, guilt, or regret? I’m just assuming that like me, you’re a prime candidate for all three by the standards of our culture.

  355. Haven, I doubt the Nazarene Church I go to resembles anything you have ever known. Except for the songs in Children’s Church, and a few of the hymns.

    Practically every Nazarene woman I have ever met wears fancy brooches, has her hair fixed up, and has a fabulous manicure.

  356. I once told my husband to depants my 8 year old son AT A PUBLIC PARK because he was just hanging from the pull-up, obstacle course bar and he had on sweat pants . . .

    and he did it . . .

    and it was my fault because I told him to . . .

    and I laughed.

  357. Also, there is a difference between Northern Indiana Nazarenes and Southern Indiana Nazarenes.

  358. I have to go pee now, thanks George!

  359. And you give things up for Lent? Are the women allowed to wear makeup and cut their hair and wear pants?

  360. My pastor is super liturgical, and loves all the holy days. This has made him unpopular. He also wants to wear robes, but no one will let him. No one even knew what Lent was before he came on the scene. Last year was my first time Lenting.

    All the woman are complete glamour dolls. Seriously. And they all have short hair, and they all wear pants. Except me.

  361. Kate: Ezekiel cooked bread over human dung? That trumps Bunny Bread and Sunbeam. I thought he was famous for seeing a wheel in a wheel, way in the middle of the air.

    And Haven, for your information, I took a bus to Sunday School. Our class was taught by a wonderful lady named Rosemary, but she puked a lot, and eventually it was taken over by a really creepy couple who did have a couple of good points to make here and there. This was in the 60s, however.

  362. God gave him permission to use cow dung instead. It was symbolic.

  363. I surrender because my husband’s alarm is going to go off soon and he will know I did not follow his medical instuctions and then he will have no sympathy for my back or my headache tomorrow . . . so I must go pretend to go to bed, but really I can read the read of John Elder’s Asperger book . . .

  364. oh dear, IN, church buses . . .

    here is a warning,

    DO NOT EVER watch the movie

    An American Crime, which is TRUE and happened in Indianapolis in the 60’s and I cannot stand the fact that I watched it because I will never be able to forget it and it is WORSE than any psycho thriller because it was based on court records.

    Please don’t ever watch it and I am SERIOUS

  365. now I can’t go to bed, I am too disturbed and afeared to do so now

    because I thought about THAT MOVIE WHICH SHOULD NOT BE NAMED

  366. I was hoping it was a fake docudrama like the Blair Witch Project, but NO it was Real and why would anybody make a movie of that? Why?

  367. Haven: I just basically chalk it up to sociopathy and reading Mad magazine when I was an impressionable youth.

    —-

    I’m fading kids, g’night,

    God, I hope I stick to some common archetypes and don’t have that Schrödinger’s cat dream tonight! Kept me up a couple nights ago.

  368. I just read a plot synopsis. Oh my.

  369. Dried cow dung makes good frisbees and good fuel for the fire, it burns slow – they gathered dry buffalo dung for fires along the Oregon Trail. Real.

  370. …hold it, maybe that was a real cat.

    Sher…are you thinking about the Likens case in Indianapolis?

  371. Don’t ever watch it Kate . . .

  372. …you know, if only I had a truffle pig trained up to find shameless, guiltless, regretless people. They require so little maintenance, and are often quite hilarious.

  373. I won’t.

  374. …if that’s the case you are talking about, I saw the pictures straight from one of the detective’s files. I always told this particular detective that if I was ever murdered, I wanted him doing the investigation.

  375. Okay, you three, put *spoiler* up front of any details, please. I’m very impressionable and that stuff sticks — I’m still getting over In Cold Blood, which I read when I was 17.

  376. PORKY and Bess!!!!

    With that, adieu.

  377. George – yes that is the one.

  378. Rim shot, George!

  379. I’m so sorry you saw anything about that. I kept hoping it was somehow NOT real.

    something funny to end the morning . . .
    When I told Claire the name of my one of my friend’s new baby, Violet . . .

    she said, “oh, that is So cute (sing-songy), Violet’s are so violetty!”

    and I was like -“yes, and you are so Clairee!!!” and she is and she makes the most lovely sunshine faces, doesn’t she Kate Cake?

  380. I am entirely fearless when it comes to True Crime, and yet will not watch movies or television because I’m afraid of American culture. I shake my head at myself.

    IN COLD BLOOD is disturbing in part because it’s so gorgeously well-written. I’ve read it many times and I’m always astonished at the artfulness.

    I have to go to bed now. I was going to stay up until voting time but it’s raining and one must sleep when it rains.

  381. She is a darling little doll!

  382. night-night . . .

  383. and a TERRIFIC ARTIST LIKE HER MOM!

  384. thank you!!! she would be so proud . . . I will tell her you said so in the mroning, I mean today, in a few hours . . .

  385. I’m obsessed with True Crime, I love reading about it, but there have been some stories that I had a hard time shaking. BTK and The Black Dahlia, especially. And Jeffrey Dahmer.

  386. I, too, was hoping to stay up until the polls and have lost all that ambition somehow. Good night, all — xoxo

  387. I wish it was raining here.

  388. I need to start staying up later, I miss the best stuff when I am sleeping!!!! You guys are awesome!
    Sher~ I would be honored if you used that phrase!

  389. Kittery and Sher and anyone else who is interested. I can vouch for match.com. Without it I would have missed The Very Best Thing to ever happen to me and would have never met the Best Man I Have Ever Known and whom I love and who, IMPOSSIBLY, loves me back. So. I was scared of it at first too, but those sites are MUCH different than they were 5 or 10 years ago.

    I’m confused about this staying up until the polls open idea… it seems like the important stuff happens after that?

  390. *did i say Sher? I think I meant Kate.

  391. Heraclitus! Somewhere around here I have a piece of paper, I copied out of a book a quote of his – something like “Out of the old come the young, and out of the young the old, and just as the earth we walk on is made of dead men’s bones, so we are thinking dead and future men’s thoughts.” Electrifying!

    Logos! It is definitely a point to ponder. I think of it as a sort of invisible test pattern (like you used to see on the TV screen) for all behaviour, human and/or inanimate. It is the blueprint. It means there is nothing new under the sun, but makes possible any communication or action of any kind. As you can tell, I am a big fan. Reading about it gives a unique opportunity to get your head around what *outside of time* is. For me, it is inexaustible. I’d better stop there.

    Stop long enough to YELL OUT THE WINDOW LOUD ENOUGH to wake your ass up Kimmel! YOU are in a BATTLEBROUND STATE! YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!! CMON! ASSHOLES & ELBOWS!
    CLapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.

  392. Hello. My name is Sock and I’m a blogaholic. It’s been three days since my last blog comment and… Dammit! Now I have to start all over! Arg! Now I start! Dammit!

    OK. Who can give me the Cliff Notes on what has transpired over the past three days? I was in Michigan visiting with the in-laws (wonderful people) and I was off line, off the grid and off kilter (a bit).

    Plus I have to leave for work in an hour and face what I may have done to myself last week when I told my boss that I may not, even though I love(d) what I do, be cut out for a commission work environment after all. She did say that she would look to see what there was available in other areas that arent’ dependent on commission and get back with me. Sounds promising, let’s hope I didn’t shoot myself in the foot.

    I did refrain myself from telling her that she’s the problem with the commissions, or anything else critical for that matter. Just said that I like the company and that I realize that commission work may not be the best place for me.

  393. wowsers, people were up late last night. from the snippets i caught…”vagina flu” sticks out and there was quite a bit of banter regarding cereal. i skimmed. off to vote in a few. my ambitions were to be there when they opened, but my son wasn’t having it this morning, he was a cranky pants and HAD to have fruit chews for breakfast. ok, 1) there are no fruit chews here and 2) that is not a breakfast food. we really had it out and i think i won. i mean, he refused to eat anything. he is only 2 though–perhaps i should have cut him some slack. well, lunch will taste extra good!

  394. Holy Moly! Do you people ever sleep? I happen to love my sleep. I did wake up at 4am to pee, then I starting thinking about the election and couldn’t get back to sleep. I guess I should have gotten up to join the conversation, instead of just laying there thinking about when and how I’m going to vote today.

    I went to my polling location at 7am and the line was too long for me to wait. Shelby refused to take a detention for the Obama team. She also needed the car today, so I have to wait until after work to vote. I’m also skipping my class this afternoon so I can vote and help out at headquarters. My professor told us last week voting is more important than class today, so I’m taking advantage of her permission to skip. 🙂

    I rode the bus to the mall today, something that’s always an experience, and heard reports of long lines every where around the county. Never, in my lifetime of voting, have I ever seen nor heard of having to wait in line to vote here in Muskegon County.

  395. Voting was just crazy this morning…chaos. I chose the paper ballot as I had to get to work and silly me only alloted an hour to vote! So I took my papers and sat in a vacant hallway next to others who were hunched over and crouched down…but we were all there!!! What an exciting day!

  396. Ok – I have to ask – why didn’t anyone else do early voting. It is exciting to stand in line for 4 hours in the rain (not, I did that in 2004) . . . as it was I waited for an hour to early vote oct something . . . I loved the screen touch, but really wanted a print out of my selections as “proof”

    58 percent of our registered voters in my county (williamson, TN) voted early!!!

    I was excited and proud and I just emailed the VIEW again to fire Elizabeth Hasselback’s scrawny ass . . .

  397. Sock Monkey –

    as you know I am inordinately PROUD of you for seeking new position, it is your first step in following your dream.

    Putting your message out into the Universe not only opens your eyes, but those in power positions around you.

    I can vouch for this:

    I did 5 year goals in 2006, about my career and life. I have met and surpassed all those goals . . . up to the fact that am in an international traveling museum exhibition that is being reviewed and essay written by THE Linda Weintraub (author of Art on the Edge and Over) – – this is like the nobel prize for scientists or the pulitzer for writers.

    all I can say is, maybe my artwork will be work more than I am selling it for on ebay BEFORE I die! Yippee.

    When people used to say Yippee, I thought they were saying I Pee, I Pee – and I thought, so what! so do I!

  398. just got back from voting. total breeze. the parking lot was not promising, but there was no line AT ALL. maybe it was really bad this morning and then eased up? or maybe i just live in the middle of nowhere

  399. Also Sock Monkey –

    3 days of Cliff notes:

    Time, philosophy, Logos, and without being titled so ID, regret or lack thereof, pyscho family members, accusations, wild animals in the house, names of said animals, cereal, peeing standing up, Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific, general nostalgia for the 60’s and 70’s, childhood resilience, true crime, hysterical stories of parental mistakes, and not to forget Kate’s bizarre version of Nazarene-ness . . . and something that I REFUSE to reveal and will take to my grave with me. I’m serious – I’m not answering the question because it gives the guilty too much power and ammunition.

  400. also slugs, which I am not sure what type of creature they are as they are really more of a giant ameoba than an “animal” .. . I do know that they dissolve when you pour salt on them, and that they leave a slick, shiny path not only on the floor, on the windows, the wooden dressers, but that the dry out once the make into your bed . . . and I have stepped on too many to count WITHOUT the benefit of Haven’s magical, best tube socks . . .

  401. did anybody else consider toilet paper a luxury when they were children.

    what about the sears catalogue which combined as reading material, folded into an origami doorstop AND toilet paper?

  402. Just voted at the local community center in a canvas and aluminum Armbruster Kolaps-a-buth. I was the 300th person to vote this morning. We have paper ballots, and I think I spent more than 5 minutes making sure that the first most important circle was colored in completely and uniformly and totally within the lines (normally hard for me to do) – it was PERFECT. A work of art. I wanted to keep it as a souvenir of an historic day.

  403. this is more than I ever wanted to know:

    A commonly seen practice among many slugs is apophallation. The penis of these species is curled like a cork-screw and often becomes entangled in their mate’s genitalia in the process of exchanging sperm. When all else fails, apophallation allows the slugs to separate themselves by one or both of the slugs chewing off the other’s penis. Once its penis has been removed, a slug is still able to mate subsequently, but using only the female parts of its reproductive system. {{clear}]

  404. Whenever my old college roomie and I had to do something scary, we always quoted the stage direction line from King Lear…”Enter Lear, Mad, Bedecked with twigs” And then we did whatever it was that scared us. That said, I am jumping into the end times of this blog bedecked with 5 lime green post-it notes from reading ALL the most hilarious comments and will GO:
    KATE: fundamentalists and atheists are the same thing!!GOLDEN GOLDEN GOLDEN I love it (and I am a savage heathen my lovely Haven and I love this blog and still search for the light)
    KITTERAY AND ALL: Did you know that the way the sense of smell works is that whatever it is you smell is a result of an actual molecule of that attaching to the receptors in your nose….so…if you are smelling dog doo, you actually have a piece of it in your nose!! I really freaked out my little nieghbor lady with this one.
    GEORGE: Remember that movie, ‘Dr. Sardonicus’? We could remake it as Dr. Sarcasticus, yes?
    AMY IN OHIO…I love the pictures of you and your dogs.
    STEPH..I, too, buy and give away copies of Zippy wherever I can…is this a cult thing?
    SHER…Butterfly wings in a cd case…makes me cry it’s so poignant…it could be an art project in itself.
    PEGGY:

  405. OOPS, I hit the submit button on accident:
    PEGGY: Your comments about the search for meaning made me think of that being one of the reasons I loved Delonda so much for sitting on the couch reading, especially sci-fi, because that’s the reason I always read…to find out the secret…it’s got to be there somewhere!!
    HAVEN: Can I send my daughter to be your child even though she is 27? She’s the sweetest most stubborn person I’ve ever met and I think it’s because I didn’t get the ‘authority’ gene from either of my parents.
    Y’ALL: Arizona has no daylight savings time, which causes all kinds of misunderstandings between us and the rest of the country EXCEPT for the Indian Reservation…aren’t they wiser than the rest of us? What’s going on?
    DORIAN: Is your Dad okay? Please tell us he has been found and is okay.
    KATE: Ditto on sending my poor daughter through a haunted house that was too scary and always regretting it..it was at a church for heaven’s sake!!
    Gotta get back. P.S. my lovely husband doesn’t have giardia from the Minnesota lakes, but has diverticulitis from the grocery store snickers bars…a far less prestigious destination. He will be better soon.

  406. Dang – it is so hard to catch up with all of you night owls! I had a dream about this blog last night – perhaps I should have just stayed up and participated. I hate it when I miss good conversation that I have so much to add to! Here goes:

    Sher – I totally understand the Holly Hobbie obsession, and that it has to be authentic. I went through a similar phase of reliving my childhood on eBay a few years ago with Weeble Wobbles. Remember them? I have a million of them. I stopped short of buying the weeble wobble tree house – but I wish I had, now. Keep your eyes peeled for me!

    Kittery – your conversation with your neice blew my mind. The thing I kept thinking was that only an 18 year old can be so strident in her beliefs because she HAS NOT LIVED YET. She can be so certain only because she hasn’t been tested – she hasn’t lived, made mistakes, and had to deal. Yet. It kills me when young women are so freaking sure about everything – easy to say when you’ve lived such a safe, sheltered life. I don’t mean to say I hope she has to deal with unplanned pregnancies or things of the like in her life – I just mean its easy to be dogmatic when you are young. I would try to remember that in dealing with her – she needs you!!

    And sweet Haven – I, too, have a sister that can talk out of the side of her mouth without moving her lips, and it is the funniest thing ever. She has reduced me to falling off my chair, rolling around on the floor like I have no spine due to her side mouth commentary. The girl is a HOOT! And I should have realized you’d have a raccoon story – love that! As I’ve mentioned, ours live outside, but come running from the woods and down from the trees when Scott and I go outside with the bag of marshmallows. Roscoe and her crew are wonderful, and I love them. I know you understand!

    Happy election day, everyone! Go Obama! 🙂

  407. P.S. we did vote by mail, and early.
    And I am embarrassed that our paper this morning in Prescott Arizona (not the most reliable source of news, mind you) reported that 10,000 people showed up at midnight last night to glimpse McCain on our town square. I guess he has to come here because he has to vote here and it has something to do with Goldwater’s archival presidential bid that never made it either….I hope the crowds had more to do with Hank Williams Jr. performing. I’m tired of living in a red state.

  408. Brendaquinkydink – Hmm… I don’t know – it may be a cult thing. If it is, it’s a happy, fun, multicolored polka dot, good intentioned cult, not the Jim Jones kind. For me it might be a bit selfish – I LOVED the book, it made me laugh over and over, and it fostered such growth in me, I just want everyone I know to have a copy. And love it as much as I do, of course – it’s nearly a prerequisite to be friends with me. Ha-ha!

  409. I voted early. And so did my husband. Read his hilarious blog entry about it here:

    http://www.hamckinney.wordpress.com

  410. Stephanie/Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down!!!!!

    I get it and I am currently collecting vintage LITTLE PEOPLE for an art installation!!!

    Here is a copy of my comment to Hugh’s hysterical blog on voting, and it is germaine because, I said so:

    Hugh – – Hugh – – Hugh!!!

    I can’t believe I didn’t get to meet your blessed personage. I am honored to read your insightful and entertaining experiences of early voting.

    you. are. the. perfect. mate. for. Kate. Lucky dog you and you make verrrrrrry pretttttttttty babieeeeeeeeeeeees!

    My early voting was different . . . I went around 11 ish, read all the “how to vote on the electronic machines literature, also read about each of the five votes I would cast, read about each candidate (even though I already knew what I would be doing) . . . trying to be educated as a voter.

    then I step up to the NO line, 2 poll workers sitting at their laptops . . .hand over my ID and my voter registration card to nice lady number one……..her laptop jams up . . . nice lady number 2 tries on her laptop and it jams up . . .

    did Obama not want my vote? Have I been blackballed by the federal government? Are the police gathered outside to arrest me for crimes I committed in 1995 (which I believe the statute of limitations has run out on and I believe I will be able to write about that crime VERY soon), or are the police gathering outside because my nephew logged onto some porno sites on my isp last time he visited and they think I am the crazy porn crazed night person) . . .??????? Was that guy in the straw hat and chewing a haystalk the FBI . . . crap.

    now there are lines out the door from the lunch crowd and they are all looking at me accusingly because I am the one who caused the laptops to go into spasms . . .

    the nice ladies keep apologizing to me . . .

    I’m like “I’m o.k., I have plenty of time (as I frantically search outside for the SWAT team waiting for me. Is there a back door in this podunk community center?)

    ok – 45 minutes later I get my “pre-voting” slip of paper

    I am USHERED to the voting machine by a sweet elderly Southern Gentleman, “this way, madam”

    I allow him to show me step-by-step to demonstrate the machine because I am terrified that he will be offended that I am not an idiot, but

    HE MIGHT BE THE FBI

    I vote, I review, it can’t be this easy . . . I am breathless, proud, excited, I have to PEE but I have to excape the FBI . ..

    disappointed that there is not a printout to prove I voted, but the FBI(maybe) guy handed me an

    “I voted” sticker, so I am assured.

    I escape the SWAT team who are hiding in the dulie trucks and chicken trailers (I live in rural TN) . . . I spin out the gravel parking lot, almost run into the restored train caboose and watch for flashing lights to descend on me.

    I make it home and log onto Haven’s blog – I am SAFE!!!

  411. Kate –

    what lead parapgraph did you or Astute George come up last/this morning????

  412. Here it is. This story is about a beautiful street just one block away from where I grew up.

    Wabash Avenue of Flags seems to have an almost magical quality. Pick any street in the Lamasco neighborhood, turn the corner onto Wabash and feel yourself transported by the site of the grand Victorian and Edwardian homes flanking the tree lined islands capped on each end by an American flag.

    The magic was not lost on Jeani Harl, who always thought “Wabash Avenue was the swellest street I had ever seen.. the most glamorous street I had ever been on!” Harl says. Harl’s love affair with Wabash Avenue started in high school when she’d visit her friend Joanne Lintzenich. The glamour only intensified for Harl when she saw a Betty Grable film entitled “Wabash Avenue” with a song of the same name that Grable sang while wearing “one of her fancy showgirl outfits,” says Harl.

  413. I love that you commented on Hugh’s blog…he is going to be SO CONFUSED!!!

    You should scroll down to the one called “Team America.” You’ll die laughing.

  414. Sher, you are so stinking funny! I’m glad you survived your experience at the polling place! What would we do without you?!?!?

  415. Kate: good job…i can’t wait to read your story and tell your husband, i came, i read, but i did not comment, yet. evansville will always be home to me.

  416. Yes, Kate…tell you husband I read it too..very entertaining and as for the two young veterinarian looking technicians…I bet they were Obama voters..I don’t think McCain even LIKES animals, or remembers how many he owns either.

  417. Well, I just spent about 20 minutes reading these comments from the bottom up to try and meet up with where I left off reading early this morning. Now I am tired. And I am still at work with miles to go before I sleep. I mean MILES people.

  418. Linda, you make a good point about catching up in the blog. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to mark where we left off? Or if the blog posts were numbered, or something?

  419. Linda ~ nice literary reference “miles to go before I sleep”. I’d give you an A+ for the day. But then it’s not my blog… Oh, what the hell. I’ll give it to you anyway. 😀

  420. I also give Linda an A+, with a smiley face 🙂 because she is such a dear.

    Now, if you are a mad blogger like me you always make a comment BEFORE you blog off – so you start from the view of your last avatar – it is the best reason to get a FREE wordpress avatar. But also, after one posts, you must scroll back up because you might miss 10 – 20 comments and that is so sad!!!

  421. I will give Linda two smiley faces if she removes the full view of us from the Yahoo Photoblog because:

    I look like hell and look like I gained 30 lbs instead of losing 20 AND we were both WAITING for that passerby to take the stupid picture AND we were freaking out because she thought we might be a match.com couple . . . it explains our bizarre appearances . . . but please, have mercy, I took a shower and put on makeup, but I was in PAIN from my back and did not fix my hair and I look disgusting . . . . let’s not subject these people to such a horrific image – it can cause damage to the soul (at least mine).

    Kate – I take back my previous statement about all pictures being lovely – obvviously, in my case, this was a totally lie and one never knows until one experiences the issue at hand and maybe I should keep my mouth shout when I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    Do you know what I’m talking about?

  422. Thank GOD you people are back. I was pacing the floor.

    JohnM, my pelts arrived yesterday but I haven’t opened the box yet. I’m saving the experience until Kate and I have slightly more clarity on our big project. And so remember the way I described your work as clean and engineered? John looked at your website yesterday and kept saying, “Oh my god, have you seen the one with the NAILS?” That’s one of my favorites, too. I kept saying, “Dude, I told you. This is what I’ve been trying to say.” Then two minutes later, “Oh my god, did you know he could DO this?” At the end he said, “What an interesting, surprising man he always turns out to be.” I suppose when I was making with the jibber jabber describing your work, he was hearing chimp sounds or a series of clicks and beeps.

  423. Kimmel! Go VOTE! Or get used to hearing the word
    “Mee-YAV-rick”!

  424. …and no respite from hearin’ the word nu-ku-lar!

    I just got back from voting. Why didn’t I vote early? Because I wanted my ballot to be reflected on election day, instead of counted only if the race was close. Turns out I don’t know the rules. I just dropped it in a slot, it doesn’t get scanned. Research time.

  425. And I am so exceedingly intrigued by the big Kate and Haven project. Will there be hints, or are you determined to spring it on us, full-grown?

    And what is the link to John M’s site? Right now, the one with NAILS has an awkward and disturbing configuration in my imagination.

  426. Since I was up till around 4 last night blogging my life away, I slept as late as could, stumbled into work, left early, went to the local firehouse and voted!

    I can’t begin to describe how good I feel about this election and what it portends.

    Since 1972, I have been able to participate in this holy civic sacrament, and I have done so faithfully, though I have feared and even rued the results of what I had done and others did.

    Not today.

  427. you know…portends is really the wrong word…it didn’t hit my ear right in the re-reading. so, let’s just say I feel good about this election and what it means to the nation and me, personally.

    Finally, a leader who motivates me…and someone who stands as a bridge between this racial chasm

  428. Haven: I got some real literary detectives on that poem and that’s all I am going to say on the subject for now.

  429. I know, what you mean — though possibly premature, I feel so excited and encouraged by this election. It’s smoothing out tensions in me I didn’t know I was holding.

    I got an e-card from a friend in London today (she’s been asking me for years “couldn’t you do something about your Mr. Bush?”): “All eyes are on you chaps today! Things can only get better!
    Lots of love, J. xxx”

  430. Kate and Sher…you two are very cute, no matter what y’all say and hey…you’re both wearing lipstick…a major accomplishment in my book…what more is there?
    I, too, want to hear more about the Haven/Kate project, so give it up!

  431. I think those pictures are great and will be so very disappointed if you take them down. Brendaquinkydink — you look the same now as you did back in the day. What gives?

  432. Children, children: As I said to my daughter, I shall vote at precisely the right moment. AND I DID. I’ve already been there and back and yes, I stood and looked at those two options for President and while all through this race and especially when I voted during the primaries the fact of Obama felt so hopeful and strange, this time I filled in that circle and thought, Take that, all you war-mongering, hangdog, hate-filled, racist bitches. Then I was like, RUH ROH, not so Quakerly Haven, right there! Curiously, I have no regret for having thought it.

  433. Now I am back to treating this as a sacred occasion, by the way. Or I will as soon as I’m finished convincing Scott that he received an anal probe during his sleep study. In the car I said, “Don’t you remember? There were two men, a tall one and a short one? The short one was dressed in a little blue uniform?” I should offer him some candy if he remembers. This is like science.

  434. Carrie you are a sweetie! It’s the Time Warp Lens. Don’t trust it.
    Yay! cheers for Haven for her un-quakerly interior monologue at the voting booth.

  435. George, I have read about those literary detectives and it DOES involve time-travel, so do you see how well you have served as my point-man on this post? BRAVO, M. Stute.

  436. Would it really shock you people to know that all conservatives are not evil? That I know quite a few who are kind and peachy-keen?

  437. Sher, I put the photos of us in the Haven’s Mavens album not realizing I could not ever delete them since I did not create said album- so we are at the mercy of George. BTW, I think you look cute as the dickens, I am the one with the weirdo look on my face. You know, thinking back on it, we should have conjured up some wild story about how we met online and what kind of pictures we really wish we could take. ha ha ha. Maybe not. Next time we will have one of our talented children take the photo and it will be perfect.

  438. Kate-

    I hear you. Their kids come play with my kids at my house. My kids go play with their kids at their house.
    They see my signs. I see theirs. We chat about this and that, actually have a fairly good time.

    Be scared/sad when politics gets in the way of that.

    M

  439. I just got back from voting! AND I made my mother sign an initiative for legalizing gay marriage – democracy in action! She came up behind me while I was reading the form and said, “what’s this?” The guy started to tell her and I turned around, handed her my form, gave her a pen and said, “sign it”. And she did. 😀

    Also, before I went to vote, I had gone to the library to find (any or all of) Haven’s books. I made myself go through the card catalogue (being raised on the internet, that is indeed an act of love). NOTHING. I went to my little independent bookstore. NOTHING. I was thoroughly dejected by this point, and my mother asked (for the fourth time) “what is the author’s name?” So I told her, again. A few minutes later she comes back and says, “did you check the used section?” No. I did not, because that section is a new addition and I’d forgotten it existed. RIGHT THERE WAS A BRAND NEW LOOKING COPY OF ZIPPY! I snatched it off the shelf like an anorexic who’d found peanut butter. I nearly started crying (a reaction I did not expect) because here, finally, I had one of Haven’s books in my hand.
    (Time for a very painful confession – I have never read any of Haven’s books. I found Haven through my deep and abiding love for Augusten.) But! This will no longer be the case, I now own a copy of Zippy and Couch has been special ordered. HOORAY! 😀

  440. Kate, I for one am chastened. I apologize…my brother is a conservative and he is…no wait, he’s evil. My sweet office mate Cheryl is a conservative and is voting for McCain and is kind and peachy keen…I love her, and not just because upon hearing her husband had spent 500 dollars already on her for Christmas said “It had better shoot bullets!”
    She cracks me up.

  441. HA HA! I just noticed the Steven Wright quote at the top of the page. Good one, Haven. That made me smile.

  442. I just want us all the be cautious. I have voted conservative my entire life. I have never, ever once been racist, or wanting anything but the best for everyone. I am firmly middle of the road, and I voted for Obama because I have lost my idealism, and I want change, and he inspires me. And also because I believe that some of my conservative desires will never be realized without some massive changes to the infrastructure. People who are against Roe V. Wade are never going to see it overturned, and it wouldn’t matter if it was. People developing a change of heart and feeling free from fear will do more to reduce abortion than any law ever could.

  443. Kate, I do the same thing when chastizing my gays. I begin the sentence with You People. Seriously, I often say, “You People do not know how to love.” I say that specifically to Augusten, to be honest. I’ll try it on some conservatives the next time I meet any. “Do You People not know that some gay black men and atheistic women who have had abortions are the kindest, most interesting lovebugs in the world?” And they will learn from me, and they will feel deep Christian tolerance in their hearts, I’ll bet.

  444. Also, I ADORE Steven Wright!!!!

  445. Thanks, Linda! See, I told you to watch those quotations. I have a whole collection saved — I add to it every day, and I go through the file and change it according to the mood of the place. Meaning what, I have no idea.

  446. Kate, Steven Wright is so funny I could die. I saw him the first time as a teenager and completely fell out of my skin.

  447. It couldn’t HURT!

  448. You mean it couldn’t hurt to try that speech on conservatives?

  449. Hugh does this imitation of Steven Wright when he’s being heckled that just makes me fall over. He just looks up and whispers “I’ll Kill You” in that Steven Wright way.

  450. I am off to meet up with my lovely Presbyterian college students for worship and food and then probably election night coverage viewing. These young people inspire me. They have been so excited about Obama. It just warms my heart and gives me hope. See you all later tonight 🙂

  451. You can drop and break something in a minute. It may take hours or days to repair it. And no matter how great that “super glue” may be, it is never, exactly the same as it was before. And people usually take even more time to heal than things.

    I came across that quote when I was researching forgiveness and making amends.

    I gives me more patience with myself.

  452. Sure! Why not? It worked on me!

    Sorry to get all soapboxy and not one bit funny and cute here, but I think the hugest problem is the whole US and THEM mentality that both sides have. The only person I have been able to discuss my opinions with on the opposite side is my mother, who is quiet and a good listener, unlike my pop who just foams at the mouth and is irrational. But of course, the other side has to be willing to listen. Therein lies the problem.

  453. True, True Sher. Good thoughts.

  454. Kittery, I’ve had the same exhaustive search for Couch (I’m about to order it from Amazon – stupid, useless Barnes and Noble. Stupid, useless public library. Ha ha… Ok, I take that one back), but Zippy was my very first HK read, purchased completely at random from an employee recommendation endcap at B&N. (Ok, I guess I have to take back what I said about THEM now, too.) It has since become my favorite book of ALL time, read countless times, lent out to countless friends, other copies purchased for family… It makes me homesick for not only my own childhood, but hers, too. At 27 years old, I want to BE Zippy. 🙂

    I, on the other hand, have never read Augusten! Do you recommend a place to start?

  455. yes, the polarization is the scariest part of freedom of speech . . . in England they have more parties and they don’t seem to be so uptight about it – tolerance is hard to come by. and it is hard to explain to my kids and I can’t imagine if I experienced early civil rights autrocities . . . I’m just discussing hurt feelings, not battered bodies and lynchings.

  456. I started with Running with Scissors, finished that in a night (I was working at Borders at the time, the employee loan program, god, it was a beautiful thing), read Magical Thinking the next night and then the next night I’d read Dry. As far as order? Running with Scissors first, and I’d save A Wolf at the Table until after you’ve read a couple other of Augusten’s books.

  457. It’s a little ironic, because I actually gave Running with Scissors to my sister as a gift, but never read it myself! She loved it… Maybe she’ll be a nice sister and lend it to me. 🙂 (I mean, after all, I gave her Zippy!!) Thanks for the tip!

  458. Kate, I grew up in rural Indiana and have lived in the south nearly my whole adult life. I’ve been listening to conservatives and virtually no one else for nigh on every bloody minute I’ve been on this planet. They can stop telling me their positions now — I’m actually a quick study. I got it some time in . . . 1977, I think, and yet here it is in 2008 and the essential arguments of economic or fiscal conservatism remain the same, and the policies of social conservatism are the same, and the goals of reactionaries are no different. I wouldn’t expect them to be, as the radical progressivism and overturning of power structures of Jesus of Nazareth haven’t changed in 2000 years, either. I’m holding in my mind an image of the most terrifying man I know, who is also deeply religious and a virtual encyclopedia of conservative arguments and positions. His hour will come back around; that is how it Be. But his hour is over for now, and I’m just tickled PINK, PINK, I tell you.

  459. Oh me too! Believe me!! I have gotten some e-mails this week that have just made me so depressed, because there are all so very one note, and make so little sense. It boggles my mind, really.

  460. Michelle, it’s worth a try, but if you’re like me, you’re going to want your own copy eventually. 🙂

  461. Lest we are confused. I am a Moderate. I voted Obama. Ra Ra Gay Marriage and Better Healthcare!

  462. My favorite email forward came from my super conservative stepdad, titled something like, “Why Billy Graham’s Pianist is Against Obama”. Not Billy Graham, mind you. His pianist.

  463. Whoops, I glanced at Michelle’s post just as Scott was distracting me with some shenanigans, and I saw Why Billy Graham’s Penis Is Against Obama. And that just seemed beyond the pale, even for the far right.

  464. Michelle, if I had food in my mouth it would have flown out of my mouth right now!!

    I am actually on the outs a bit with my grandma because the DAY I voted for Obama I just a nasty, xenophobic, racist email called “A Pilot’s Perspective on Obama.” Believe me, I was not so patient that day.

  465. HAVEN! You have HUGH’s PERVERT DISEASE!

  466. HA HA HA… That, too, I’m sure!

  467. I prefer to call it Hank’s Pervert Disease. At least Hank will bring me home bear meat. Venison, for sure.

  468. I think my stepdad and grandfather are in super cahoots over email forwards. I’ve gotten the pilot one, too. I don’t have the heart to tell my grandfather I voted for Obama (he’s not long for this world), but there’s no blood between me and dear stepfather. Ha ha… I need to start writing my own forwards.

  469. Yes, Hank. My Davey Crocket of a husband with a coonskin cap, who greatly preferred playing basketball and listening to D.C. Talk over reading Oscar Wilde and listening to The Smiths.

  470. Hugh’s great aunt was Ruth Bell Graham’s secretary. True Story.

  471. I can see the email now… “Hugh’s Great Aunt – Ruth Bell Graham’s PERONAL SECRETARY!!! – is against Obama!”

  472. SHE IS SENDING THIS MESSAGE FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE! That is how important this election is.

    That side of the family is actually staunchly democrat, and Hugh’s grandma is so mad that ole Hill didn’t get the nomination that she is sitting this one out. Hugh’s mom is apologetic. “She’s older” you know, which is code for “She doesn’t know she’s racist.”

  473. Linda: I’ll take those shots off Havens Mavens if you want.

    Kate: You are so right about the polarization and the us vs. them mentality.

    I don’t want to preach (guess that means I will, then), but I have covered elections and politics since 1972. This is the first year I have not.

    My perspective goes like this:

    You have to understand the social melieu in the 1960s and the early 70s to understand Roe V. Wade. It was never, ever about baby killings as the wild-eyed conservative talk show people and the true whack-jobs out there would have everyone believe. Nor was it about birth control, though it was about control. At the time, women who felt THEY COULD not have a baby for whatever reason could not obtain a safe medical procedure to have it done. Birth control was not nearly as ubiquitous and easily obtainable either. Women were dying needlessly and that’s a simple fact. At the same time, women were beginning to assert political and human rights in a resurgence of power that had not been seen since the voting movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    Roe v Wade said that a woman had a constitutional right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, which secured the civil rights of former slaves. That clause was interpreted by the Supreme Court as being broad enough to include a woman’s personal decision to terminate a pregnancy. This ruling, for the first time in America, gave women legal rights over their own bodies and responsibility for the ultimate human decision, as it should be. Interestingly, the court’s correct interpretation of this clause also was instrumental in breaking down racial segregation in this nation in the Brown v Board of Education. Roe v Wade would have had more import if the constitution had been altered at the same time to create an Equal Rights Amendment for women, but that effort failed for years. (Sen. Birch Bayh — Evan’s father — was the author of ERA and ironically forbade his wife, Marvella from taking a job.)

    What this ruling did was crack many of the fissures within our culture: Republican/Democrat; urban/rural; gun rights/gun contol and on and on.

    As politics became increasingly media-driven came the rise of operatives on both sides of the aisles. These guys, applying demographic marketing techniques, realized people could win elections simply by not losing them.

    This sounds like an assinine and obvious statement, but it is profound. These guys knew that with declining turnouts, all you had to do was create wedge issues that would divide independents and undecideds on single hot-button issues, thus depriving everyone of clear-cut truly representative pluralities while winning the election by securing a slightly larger minority.

    This sophisticated politicking was rolled out in a real serious way by the so-called conservatives in the 1980 election that brought Reagan in. After 1980, they all started doing it and in the process, slicing and dicing the electorate in ways that we may never ever actually recover from.

    Anyway…I don’t want to preach…and there are many other tangents I can go into and won’t.

    What Obama offers is a clear break for that political past.

    That’s why yours and my idealism that we can achieve a better and more just America is so important when we cast our best hopes toward the future when we voted for Obama.

  474. I highly recommend the book “Crazy for God” by Franky Schaeffer. It really sheds a great deal of light on the whole Rise of the Christian Right, including his involvement in accidentally creating it and his exodus.

  475. “She’s older” you know, which is code for “She doesn’t know she’s racist.”

    It makes me laugh right out loud every time I read it. 🙂

  476. Here’s a true story. In 1993 on the 20th Anniversary of Roe v Wade, there was a huge demonstration outside the Supreme Court. I covered it for The Star and was careful to talk to both sides though honestly, it was the so-called pro-choice people who were the most impassioned and unknowledgeable about what they were doing. That fact was proved beyond when I was leaving the grounds to go and write my story and I saw Justice Blackmun walking out of the building and past some of the most strident pro-lifers. He, of course, was the primary author of Roe V. Wade. I often thought it would have been the height of irony if the pro-lifers would have recognized him and beat him to death. They didn’t have a clue, however.

  477. I go with George. I trust him so much he was my write-in vote for Waste Management Commissioner. I also wrote his name very lightly under the NC Supreme Court.

  478. I would vote for George any day of the week.

  479. Haven’s right. This is only for now.

  480. Everything is only for now, George, as you well know. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s a freak show.

  481. George, George, George – you are THE MAN! Ditto for me, everything you said. I marched in DC in the March for Women’s lives with over 1,000,000 other people who believe in protecting womens’s rights and availability of reproductive health and it was AWESOME.

  482. Oh, and Scott was there, too – just as passionate as I was. That is why he is awesome, too! 🙂

  483. I marched in Washington too. But on the other side.

  484. I need to clarify this. When I was 17 I marched in a pro-life march on Washington. I met some crazy people on both sides. I met some people who were angry, on both sides. And I met some people who went as a labor of love. That is why I went. I went because I believe that while no woman should ever die due to a botched abortion I feel in this day and age women should be educated on their choices, and that includes other options. I want women to feel supported and loved in their ability to create life, a holy thing, regardless of circumstances.

    I have not changed my opinion. I am deeply saddened by abortion. What has changed is the opinion that reversing Roe Vs. Wade will do anything to reduce abortion. I recognize that a woman who has had an abortion will view my feelings as an attack on them, even if it is not meant to be. I feel nothing but deep compassion for any woman who has had one. And I feel that the only way to reduce abortion is to increase options, increase education, increase self-worth. It is a change that can only happen on an individual level, and one that cannot come about through legislation. All legislation will do is pull it back under the darkness and cause more pain.

  485. Someone help me here: Am I the only person who suspects James Carville picked up the wrong teeth when he left the gym?

  486. I have a stain on my angora sweater?

  487. Where is Suzanne? She could answer all of our questions in a single sentence.

  488. And I’d like to go back and take up something George said earlier, a statement that flew under the radar but is very important. Why did his Sunday School teacher, Rosemary, vomit so frequently? And how could the couple who followed Rosemary be MORE creepy?

  489. i am absolutely pro-choice, pro-child and pro-family. i believe that the government should stay out of my bedroom, out of my doctor’s office, and out of my church.

    i was raised in a very republican family and they are split right down the middle right now over this election. i could not imagine a world with my family growing in it if we have 4 more years of this bologna.

    i am fiscally republican (who isn’t?-here, take my $), but the social, environmental, WAR DISASTER we are in cannot continue.

    that’s why i voted for obama. plus, he really fires me up. makes me want to make a difference. change is possible.

  490. James Carville is cajun and Irish. Maybe thats why,

    btw THANK YOU HAVEN for TUW it made me smile

  491. Michael T, you make US smile, so it was my pleasure.

  492. I’m live blogging at Obama headquarters. Wow! Exciting stuff. This building is not very big and there are a lot of people here. The cheering goes right through the bones!

  493. Haven, do you know that your signature looks like a whale? is that on purpose?

  494. Tonight has me all turkey bumps !

  495. Michael T: goose pimples?

  496. chicken skin

  497. Goose eggs.

  498. Michael, a few people have noticed the whale in my signature; it’s like a Magic Eye painting. I actually designed that signature at the beginning of my book-signing career, because I wanted something that was singular and took no time so I could enjoy signing books. The whale emerged on its own. I’m terrified by large marine life, although I wish them well of course. As long as they don’t enter my consciousness in any way, we’re good.

  499. Hugh is FREAKING OUT because he can’t watch the election coverage. He has school tonight. Last presidential election my family ruined it for him. We all watched it together and my family is very loud. Not only could he not concentrate, but my Grandma walked in and said “Looks like the Good Guys are winning.”

  500. I am so proud of people for voting, I don’t even care who they voted for – just vote, okay – write in Mickey Mouse or GEORGE ASTUTEVILLE (when is your “What it means to be an American book coming out)??? I am pre-ordering it right now. ISBN number please?

    I watched some of Shut Up & Sing tonight- and I was just crying (I am also in pain) when Marty cries and says she would quit her career if that would give Natalie peace (about the death threats, etc) – but really it hurts me when people can’t just let someone else have their own opinion – I mean truly – NOT READY TO MAKE NICE is such a declaration of emotional independence, it stuns and humbles me.

    RE Conservatives – Now I do think that if you make a statement it would be helpful if you can back it up with information and some forethought; but, I am so glad if someone thinks for themselves. Hyperbole and delusion can be hand-in-hand? But much of it is sincere belief based on personal history and religious and historical ties, so I can’t be judgmental just because I jumped out of the fish bowl.

    I made an anti-abortion speech when I was 16 in the Georgetown Fair Queen Pageant – I got disqualified for the controversy – and the winner wrote a speech about her fun in Spanish class.

    What a bull-headed idiot, brainwashed manic I was – totally bull in a China shop . . . only the personal experiences of my life, my friends’ lives, and close relatives’ lives help open my eyes to SEE both sides and to soften my heart and create empathy. I am free will, therefore, pro-choice – yet when I found myself unplanned pregnant at 35 with medical orders not to carry said infant, I could NOT have an abortion. But I am so happy that I had a choice.

    I am (obviously) dramatic and remember having a phrase in the speech like: where would America be if Thomas Jefferson’s or George Washington’s mothers had had an abortion? I am hitting myself on the head with my laptop!!

    So, Kittery, there is still hope for your niece because I eventually opened my eyes and grew an empathy space in my heart.

    I lost my painkillers – woe is me.

    You are all so wonderful and I have cried 3 times today. Which is a good day because my feelings are coming back and I am getting a stronger backbone with every knock in the noggin.

    Thank you for further understanding, support, and general FABULOSITY!

  501. HK, that was me about the whale. it’s all i can see. an adorable little cartoon whale.

  502. sher, i hope i wasn’t hurtful about my pro-choice stand. that being said, i don’t think i would ever choose an abortion, but i must consider circumstances. on top of which, taht is my choice. whatever choice another person makes–is just not my business. that is what maes me pro-choice…in my opinion, you cannot legislate morality.

  503. Steph, you are welcome to see an adorable little cartoon whale as long as you don’t forget that I am a deeply serious, grave person who has no time for frivolosity or any sort of fripperty. No flapdoodling, either. I’m much too deep and serious and gravity-laden for anything like that.

  504. OK – I CONFESS I AM JUDGMENTAL TO

    ONE SINGLE CONSERVATIVE –

    ELIZABETH HASSELBACK

    she gets my invisible panties in a wad and THAT IS ALL I NEED TO SAY ON THAT

  505. Whoa, I haven’t thought about Philosophy since last year when I was in grad school (M.A. Humanities, not yet completed, but as soon as someone gives me $20,000, or a better job that I can use my college degree in, I’m there!) I picked up my book, “The Person, Readings in Human Nature” and thought hmmm, who do I like as a Philosopher? I remembered David Hume, who believed the mind is like a theater (Sidenote: For those tv show fans of LOST out there, this is the character Desmond is supposedly based upon) where several perceptions appear and disappear in a number of settings. He has said “I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception.”

    People tend to shy away from Philosophy – I get that. I had two classes as an undergrad @ MSU and two religion classes there as well and I had a hell of a time understanding. But, in grad school after being forced to write a paper on how robots can be human, I finally got it. Philosophy is all around us. Plenty of people use Philosophy in all different sneaky ways – just read the lyrics to this song that the world’s best power trio, RUSH wrote

    Free Will

    There are those who think that life
    Has nothing left to chance
    With a host of holy horrors
    To direct our aimless dance

    A planet of playthings
    We dance on the strings
    Of powers we cannot perceive
    The stars arent aligned —
    Or the gods are malign
    Blame is better to give than receive

    You can choose a ready guide
    In some celestial voice
    If you choose not to decide
    You still have made a choice

    You can choose from phantom fears
    And kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path thats clear
    I will choose free will

    There are those who think that theyve been dealt a losing hand
    The cards were stacked against them —
    They werent born in lotus-land

    All preordained
    A prisoner in chains
    A victim of venomous fate
    Kicked in the face
    You cant pray for a place
    In heavens unearthly estate

    Each of us
    A cell of awareness
    Imperfect and incomplete
    Genetic blends
    With uncertain ends
    On a fortune hunt
    Thats far too fleet…

    Haven shared some interesting things about Heraclitus, but what I remember him saying is “If it were not for injustice, men would not know justice,” and “It is better to hide ignorance, but it is hard to do this when we relax over wine.”

    Gives ya something to think about, right?

    By the way, OMG, who will are new president be? Aren’t you EXCITED?

  506. Sher, you are singing my song.

  507. oh goodness – no, no – I am pro-choice too – I was saying I was freaking, brainwashed pro-lifer as a young teen . . .

    i think my point was that we evolve and change and grow . . . but that when I had the choice I couldn’t personally have one because I felt that the baby was sidrah (meant to be) and that I must have an unfinished job as a mother to give the universe another being. So we have WEE Claire – a ray of light if there every was one, and it has stalled my career and caused much illness, etc. – but I am glad I had a choice because I don’t feel trapped by it – I got to decide for myself.

    I guess I am not making sense.

  508. “Everything is only for now”
    Okay, I am doing a piece of art for that one.
    And George, just where are you teaching so I can enroll?, aside from this wonderful little learning space we have here, precious to me beyond….you know…the lovely WORDS!

  509. i voted in a stunning white terrycloth bathrobe which i nicked from shutters in santa monica. i tried to feel guilty but over the years i’ve found that in time, this guilt can be borne.

    about the robe, i mean.

    i personally think the presidency is a job for a diety. why have no dieties stepped forward?

    no amount of anything can get blueberry stains out.

    xo
    sfc

  510. Also, I cannot watch The View. Watching all those hens getting their panties in bunch gives me PMS.

  511. Kate – we are a duet, aye?

  512. Suzanne:
    Add more blueberry stains and some beets and some cranberries, and call it art.

  513. Haven I didnt see a whale that was steph.
    I think I saw the forming of a new galaxy. yea I know(Good pot up here in Michigan) hehe

  514. I knew my son was a philosopher when he talked to me for 13 hours on a car drive from Destin FL to IL about – his 8 year old words “the inner me”

    I have done my work as a mother!

    I remember thinking as a tiny child that:

    why doesn’t the world explode with all the emotions contained – multiplied by the number of persons out there? And then, why didn’t I implode from the repressed emotions and thoughts I had to keep inside?

    I was in a college philosophy class when I realized I had a “label” so to speak:
    artist philosopher. And I thought I was the only one.

    But there are people at there that don’t think about about nothing . . . Katie Courac just said, “Well, we know Bush isn’t much into instrospection” . . . this is just too good!!!!!!

  515. There’s a new novel out called AMERICAN SAVIOR by Roland Merullo about Jesus running for President. I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my ever-growing stack.

  516. thank you haven. i might name the whale something very serious, so i never forget you do not have time for fripperty. maybe, Calculus or Brain Surgery

  517. owwwww, spoooookyyyyyy, do you remember all the second coming novels that had the anti-christ at the president – I totally read those – I could read anything from the ‘christian bookstore’ – even those horrendous novels about the runaway, backslidden girls who become prostitutes, do drugs, do johns, and tricks, got veneral diseases AND then were saved by a creepy preacher stalking them in a church van and then going to detox and to be “saved” – I read them by the dozen, because they were almost as juicy as VC Andrews or Jeanne Auel

    confession – I can’t spell tonight
    and I don’t care!

  518. Michael T where in Michigan are you?

    ::: holding up my hand and pointing underneath my pinkie finger half way to my wrist. 🙂

  519. I wonder if that is Bush’s fault. Hu-ank maintains that Jerry Seinfeld is right…that much of time when you ask a man what he is thinking the answer is “nothing.” Just looking around, walking around.

  520. maybe I should turn my signature into a slug? It can be my mascot. That is liberal – a hermaphrodite, penis chewing slug.

  521. I approve entirely of naming the whale Brain Surgery. I would also accept Don DeLillo.

  522. POS I live in a farm town 5 Miles west of Ann Arbor (Dexter)

  523. Whale should be named Jonah Indiana

  524. Sher, slugs seem to have totemic power in your life. You’re the first I’ve ever heard of, but you’re probably accustomed to being alone in a category. I’d love it if someone asked you what your ‘totem animal’ is and you said, “The Slug.” Seriously, I’d pay to see that.

  525. POS
    you are in grand rapids ?

  526. Jonah, Indiana! Sher, you trickster — that’s GOOD.

  527. jonah indiana is AMAZING

  528. ok – I will add it to my artist statement, Haven. Anything for you.

    My former totem spirit was a fetal dolphin, but I think you may be right.

    And, totem spirits definately (I can’t spell that word, I gave up) change as we do.

  529. thank you – I have a gift for naming artwork

  530. Close. I’m in Muskegon.

  531. obama just won pennsylvania. from what i understand, this race is over.

    give the man the presidency!

  532. My dog Cloud looks like a fetal shark. When she was a baby she looked like a fetal pig, but now she’s definitely a shark. That’s Cloud in my author photo, sharking it up.

  533. let’s tell stories about our totem spirits: it will keep us chill until the announcement.

    And, Haven, according to Sam Keen’s theory – I am my own trickster and it is the only archetype I want to be until I reach the level of Crone!

  534. Suze, yes, could we please just hand him the keys? I don’t like feeling jiggy, and this election business has been going on too long.

  535. Yes, I would VERY much like to hear from everyone what they believe to be their totem animal and why. I would REALLY like that.

  536. Oh, that is a GOOD name cloud.

    re dogs who look like pigs, fetal or otherwise.

    When we moved into our last house (6 years ago) I was feeding Claire on the back deck and see these FORMS, black forms in the backyard across the way – I froze because
    1 – I couldn’t tell what they were
    2 – I couldn’t tell which end was the head or which were the asses
    3 – there tummies hung on the ground and they, apparently, had no legs

    they ended up being deaf, unfortunately vietemese pig-like DOGS and were for ever after called

    :those butt-faced dogs:

    a friend (dog lover extraordinaire) screamed in horror when she them and said
    “that is just wrong”

  537. The Major News networks don’t know how to add, but Obama is projected to win NY and Mich! 175, 61

  538. POS, I’m glad you’re taking care of this for us. Particles is the boss of the returns for the Blog Babies.

  539. My childhood totem was:

    Spiders. Grand Daddy long legs in particular. The grew behind the green trailer in Sunman IN were I lived at ages 2-3 or so. I would sneak them in the trailer (where we had lawnchairs for furniture) . . . they were my only companions. They would sit in my doll stroller as I furiously IRONED baby clothes on my tin ironing board with my red tin iron. I worked hard all day.

    Haven this was just freakily close to your Evil Laundry Game. Sometimes my sister would pull their legs off and I would still try to keep them alive even though they were reduced to round rolly-pollies. I do not kill spiders, I just take them outside where they belong. My favorites now are orb weavers. For obvious, art making reasons and my entire herb garden out front is tree-to-bush-to-lamp-post covered in spider webs and I LOVE IT.

  540. my husband just told me i was a fierce charging mama hippo. WOW. i was gonna say some large bird–bc the flight thing gets me big time. but i couldn’t be a sparrow or something delicate AT ALL.

  541. Someone pick for me. I would probably pick something stupid, like a pink poodle.

    Oh I know! TURTLES. But why? Someone tell me.

  542. Roly Polys make my heart stop, I love them so. Especially the big fat ones, which is weird because I usually prefer the tiny. I think it’s because you could really get a good look at those exoskeletons. I used to just sit and play with them forever.

  543. Shelby wants me to get home, but I’m afraid I’m going to miss something. heh.

  544. FASCINATING. I love this conversation.

  545. Sher, I am just laughing my head off over here, because you have touched on some of the most forehead-smacking moments of my life, and I’m so (perhaps unfairly) gleeful to see I wasn’t the only one humiliating myself.

    You see, I, too, was a chaste, moral-high-road-taking, COMPLETELY brainwashed teenager – a point of fact that my best friend (since the second grade… 20 years of friendship endures a lot of hilarity) does not allow me to forget. An actor since the womb, I’d been in every play I could audition for from the 3rd grade on. Senior year, however, I took a righteous stance against “The Crucible”. (NO! It CERTAINLY does NOT matter how much historical fact is written into that particular piece of literature!) I would not audition. I would not participate. I WOULD go into the director’s office and pitch a fit over the ethical implications of such unscrupulous debauchery, however. (I would also rely heavily on the little yellow thesaurus my father kept next to his crossword pen…) I was powerfully drunk on the kool-aid, railing to anyone who would listen. Meanwhile, my friends went on to do the show. They had a great time, it was reviewed well, it closed, and they moved on with their lives. And very few fell victim to the fiery clutches of Satan.

    I love to look at this story as my one political analogy. Clearly, I have sobered. And in doing so, I have learned first hand the ignorance of reacting strongly to ANY idea without a firm belief in why you’re doing it.

    Secondly, as you may have guessed, I am MORE than familiar with those second-coming books! (I’m ashamed to admit that one of them is propping up Zippy on my bookshelf. Though, to be fair, it is also buffered by the world’s most dog-eared copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) My husband loves to tease me about those books, because, while I keep them, they flat out INFURIATE me. There were just too many!!! By the 5th or 6th book there was just no point to it anymore! I’ve never seen such a blatant attempt to keep a moneymaking idea in circulation! The story was lost! End the books already! Take the financial loss to protect your dignity as a writer!

    If you thought I could rant about “The Crucible”, don’t get me started on those books!!!! 🙂

  546. Michelle, what is your totem animal?

    We’ll have to consult with Sock Monkey, but I believe I’ve been pretty much exactly the way I am now since . . . ever.

  547. OHIO JUST WENT FOR OBAMA. OHIO.

  548. 2nd and longest totem:

    Fetal dolphins.

    I have had recurring dreams of sparkling blue fetal dolphins for years. I didn’t even SEE a large body of water very frequently, but

    they were there – in the water with me and I was their trainer. It was my job to transport them from one train station to the large tanks. I carried them up on my right shoulder so we could talk. Many of them were translucent and you could see their pretty brains and tongues (like those see through, transparent phones from the 70’s?). I had a multi-colored rainbow ribbon which was attached to my pointer finger and that is how I directed them in the water.

    Fast forward to:
    1996 (I think) – anyway it was the EASTER after Hurricane Opal decimated the Destin area and we had JUST moved there the year before . . anyway.

    My beloved grandparents from Texas (not the evil doers from Marco Island) were schedule to visit on April 10th. My in-laws were visiting as well and we went on a drive on April 6th because old 98 had just opened up down towards the Navarre bridge (it had been closed since Oct and we still couldn’t get to 30A to the house in Seaside because that road was gone).

    It was a freezing spring. But we drove down and parked at the broken pier in Navarre. Everything was gone or broken. Tubs were sitting in gardens. Huge wads of fishing line tangled with seawood and fish hooks were balled up and blowing around like tumbleweeds . . . anyway a few other people were hanging out on the beach

    A pod of dolphins (or are they a school?) were out on the horizon line, prancing.

    2 tough guys swim out to try to hang with them. The dolphins (3) would have nothing to do with them. this went on for at least an hour. The guys gave up.

    the dolphins swam closer, back and forth, back and forth – I was like:

    “If I do not go out and swim with them this will be greatest regret of my life”

    So – I swim out. I freaking said “watch the kids” and walked straight into the water bee-lining for the dolphins.

    (note: at this time I was having major health problems, had had about 2 of 4 surgeries to repair my insides from the birth of Lauren in ’94) I was scheduled for another procedure in May . . . I was very sick.)

    the dolphins came right at me, they swam around me, the jumped over me, I held my arm out with my hand open like a star and the swam along the palm of my hand. The were slick and firm and I felt so much power. They were freaking big. I was scared and enthralled and I floated on my back and so did they and I prayed “heal me”

    This lasted about 15 minutes (according to my father-in-law who was ready to call the police in coniption fits). Then they literally said goodbye – all 3 of them “ah-ah ah-ah” – they jumped in an arc over my head and swam out to see.

    I could barely see the people on the shore. I started swimming. and swimming.

    and crying. and swimming. and I was so cold I could not feel my legs. I don’t know how far out I had gotten but I was a little scared I wouldn’t make it back.

    I fell on the shore because I couldn’t stand. People were cheering, jumping up and down. They brought be towels from their cars and I just cried. And Dylan and Lauren were toddlers and they had tried to swim after me – and my in-laws were speechless and said they would never believe it if they hadn’t seen it with their own two eyes.

    When I got home I got a call from my aunt that my grandparents had been killed in a car accident in Texas – at exactly the time I had been swimming with the dolphins.

  549. Is there a process to picking? Or can I pick as I choose?

  550. Michelle…what exactly was your objection to The Crucible?

  551. Hey you beat me. heh. Indiana sure is a stubborn one.

  552. Haven, is your totem animal the wolf?

  553. cats.

    they’re so familiar.

    oh. obama is taking NC, now. good for yall! oh,and mississippi is favoring Obama, now, i think it would be very sweet if he took mississippi. just too darling for words. oh god is kicking back with a big ass mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows. maybe a shot of kahlua in it.

    oh, wait a minute. it wasn’t blueberry stains that are impossible to get out. it’s blood stains. but i think we may be headed toward a solution.

  554. Michelle, my belle,

    there is word for this, wait, I can’t move, I have to yell for help . . .

  555. That was precisely the problem, Kate! I didn’t know. I’d never read it. I only knew it had something to do with witchcraft, and witches, and witches performing witchcraft…

    Drunk! Drunk on the kool-aid!

  556. anam cara

    Gaelic for

    soul friend

    – maybe that is the name of our blog community –

  557. Sher, that story is absolutely breathtaking. It’s awe-inspiring, in part because it supports Mark Twain’s theory that if you do one thing you’re afraid of, and then the next day do another, eventually you will have the strength to do whatever is required of you at all times. You did that at the supernatural level. Beautiful.

  558. Kate-Michelle:

    it is so spot on.

    we. didn’t. know. why. we were so stupid!

    I think mine is also a penchant for drama and chaos and the ultimate revolutionary . . . rebel . . . so was Christ . . . would be martyrs. joan of arc.

  559. Suzanne, cats? Please say more about that. Not that I had some other animal in my mind — you’ve all surprised me.

  560. Someone describe to Michelle how you recognize your totem animal.

  561. Mine has always been whales, the beluga whale specifically. I love their sweet smiles. And they have all that brainpan space. I’d swim right next to them, I would! There are so many stories here about baby orcas bonding with ferry boats, showing off (fluking) for any audience; then there are those about well-intentioned individuals sending out brain waves to whales to avoid a certain area because there was intense hunting there, and pod after pod going miles out of their way to avoid those fields. Is it true? Is it urban myth? I do not care, I love these stories!

  562. Haven – yes.

    I have learned that intuition should never be questioned. Follow it – in everything – art, writing, relationships, and you cannot be wrong and you will be blessed and grow.

  563. I have to say, honestly, I have never been so taken with a group of strangers in my life… 🙂

  564. sher, i LOVE that you did what you knew you had to do. it always works.

  565. Christopher said to me, “You built it, and they came.”

  566. Man, I never drank that kool-aid.

  567. Power animals most often come to us in dreams, meditations, initiations, and visions. You can have more than one power animal. Your power animal at a given time can change depending on your lifepath at that time. Power animals are often attracted by one’s emotional needs of the person – viewed as protectors wh help overcome fears and empower us.

    The concept of a Power Animal is universal to all cultures. Tribal cultures will recognize a Totem for the tribe, one for the clan one belongs to, and one for the family that one is born into. In the United States, and in other countries, the Tribal and Clan Totem still exists, although it is thought of in a slightly different manner.

    There are also totems for our adopted cultures, such as clubs or societies which we may belong to, such as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Loyal Order of Moose, and the Lions Club.

    Even Christianity, the prevalent religion of this country, has maintained two Totem animals, these being the Fish and the Lamb. Specialized Totems are also seen in organized sports, their names being reflected in the team names. Example: Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Falcons

    The next type of Power Animal or Totem is that which is personal for the individual. These Totems are protective spirits which help us in our everyday life. Everyone has such a Totem. Even today most parents give a special protective Power Animal to their children and tell the child that it will be protected over night by that Power Animal. They don’t realize that is what they are doing when they give a teddy bear to their little one.

    We often unconsciously recognize the Power Animal affecting someone, and use terms which give away our unconscious recognition.

  568. Hey! What’s this business about animal totems or whatever? I’m lost here. Jeez! Step away from the technology for a few days and wow!

    How do you know which one? Is mine the one wearing a hat saying “I’m running away” ? You know the hat that whistles the tune from a western every time I take it off.

  569. Sock, you’re cute.

  570. How do you identify the animal?

  571. Suzanne, thank you.

    following that, I call it “urge”, usually inspirational, has lead to big breakthroughs . . .

    I started saving my prescription bottles back in 94 – plethora of sizes, shapes . . . then in 2007 I picked up some scraps of vintage material and started crazy quilting the bottles.

    I mean why?

    Now that piece which is an altar table with the quilted bottles as candles on a mirrored shelf – is going to be in an international traveling exhibtion WITH 7 other amazing women artists . . . hello, my college professors (who are copying my work from 2006 would have crucified me) . . . ha, ha!!!!

  572. OK Haven, what would you say your animal totem is?

  573. Hey, I’m from Michigan (Metro Detroit -Hello Michigan people Michael T and POS)and I certainly voted for Obama, yahoo!

    And, in case anyone cares, my totem is a wild mustang, ’cause my spirit can’t be broken, no matter what happens to me in life. (And trust me alot has happened!) I saw a pack of wild mustang once in the desert in Nevada and it was a beautiful sight. Breathtaking, actually.

  574. Once, a “shaman” identified as my totem a moth. I was less than chuffed.

    If we’re talking dreams, protection, etc., it’s always, always been dogs. If it is attraction, if it is that there’s something there to draw from, then it is still whales.

  575. Would it be completely out of left field to suspect my totem animal might be a chipmunk?

  576. My husband (mind you, he is on pain pills) just informed me my totem animal should be a mink…totally making my eyes go wide…like WHAT? Why, I asked? because he says, they’re kind of soft and slinky and cuddly!!! I pointed out to him that they are reputed to be mean little animals and he said “Well yeah, they can probably be a little snippy” with a shrug…see what I mean about him being beloved AND tolerant?

  577. Here’s one way to appeal to your animal totem. First, chant this spell: “I call upon you, oh Count Teleky, to impart your mystical power to earthly things. I ask you whose presence hovers over us eternally, to invest us with your very spirit.”

    Then chant “Winkum, pinkum, nodamus rex, protect us all from the man with the hex. Come fish come, come fish come, Sam’s at the gate with a frosted cake. Fly away buzzard, fly away crow, way down south where the winds don’t blow. Rub your nose and give two winks, and save us from this awful jinx.”

    Say all this while reaching your right arm over your head and touching your left earlobe with your eyes closed.

  578. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering what your animal totem is:

    Have you ever felt drawn to one animal or another without being able to explain why? This could be animal, including birds and insects.

    Does a certain kind of animal consistently appear in your life?

    This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical appearance, it could be represented in other ways such as receiving card and letters with the same animal pictured over and over, unexplainable dreams of a particular animal, watching television and seeing the same animal featured time and time again, or, actually having the animal show up.

    When you go to the zoo, a park, wildlife area, or forest, what are you most interested in seeing?

    Are there any animals that you find to be extremely frightening or intriguing?

    Is there a particular animal that you see frequently when you’re out in nature?

    Have you ever been bitten or attacked by an animal?

    Have you ever had a recurring dream about a certain animal, or a dream from childhood that you have never been able to forget?

    Are you drawn to figurines or paintings of a specific animal?

    The totem itself is a symbol that represents this animal. This could be any number of items – a crest, a totem pole, an emblem, a small figurine or anything else that depicts your animal guide.

    Animal Characteristics & Meaning

    Alligator Maternal, revenge oriented, quickness, aggression, and basic survival instincts.

    Ant Group minded, determination, patient, active, and industrious

    Anteater Lethargy, curiosity, nosiness.

    Antelope Active, agile, jumpiness, and willing to sacrifice

    Armadillo Safety oriented, grounded, and has boundaries

    Badger Courage, aggressive, healer, having problems relating to others, and energy conduit

    Bat Rebirth, longevity, secrecy, initiation, good listener, and long life

    Bear Industrious, instinctive, healing, power, sovereignty, guardian of the world, watcher, courage, will power, self-preservation, introspection, and great strength

    Beaver Determined, strong-willed, builder, overseer, and protector

    Bee Organized, industrial, productive, wise, community, celebration, fertility, defensiveness, obsessive nature, and enjoys life

    Boar/Pig A very powerful totem – prosperity, spiritual strength, organized, self-reliant, fearless.

    Buffalo Sacredness, life, great strength, abundance, gratitude.

    Bull Insight into the past, fertility, rushing into things without proper preparation.

    Butterfly Metamorphosis, transformation, balnace, grace, ability to accept change

    Camel Survival, positive, accomplishments

    Caribou Traveler, mobility, preference to be nomadic, adaptability to adversity

    Cat Guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, and independence

    Cheetah Swiftness, insight, focus

    Cougar Leadership, loyalty, courage, taking responsibility, foresight

    Cow Swift, insightful, and focused

    Coyote Trickster, intelligence, stealth, wisdom and folley, guile and innocence

    Cheetah Nourishment and mother figure

    Cobra Swift and decisive

    Coyote Stealth, mischief, rickster, intelligent, clowining around, ability to recognize mistakes.

    Crab Good luck, protection and success

    Crane Solitude, justice, longevity, independent, intelligent, and vigilant

    Crocodile Ensuring your emotions are displayed accurately/appropriately

    Crow Justice, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, energy, community sharing, and balance

    Deer Compassion, peace, intellectual, gentle, caring, kind, subtlety, gracefulness, femininity, gentleness, innocence, and seller of adventure

    Dog Noble, faithful, loyal, teaching, protection, and guidance

  579. Sher: I just left a video file of dolphins blowing rings my mother just sent me this evening on the blog babies website…talk about synchronicity again:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/havenblogbabies/files/
    It’s lovely.

  580. Oh, dear. I think I have a different answer to every one of those questions.

    I still suspect chipmunk, however. Growing up in (waaaaay) upstate NY, I was constantly trying to feed them peanuts. (Quite successfully, I might add. They would come take them from my hand.) When I moved to Virginia several years ago, one of the very first thing I noticed was that there are simply no chipmunks here! It was very disorienting for some reason.

  581. Dolphin Kind, salvation, wisdom, happiness, playfulness, prudent, capable of deep emotion, and happy.

    Dove Cross-world communication, spirit messenger, peace, gentleness, love

    Dragon Longevity, richness, prosperity, infinity, wisdom, power, and fiery

    Dragonfly Flighty and carefree, strong imagination, higher aspirations.

    Duck Water energy, helper of seers, can clearly see/deal with emotions

    Eagle Divine spirit, sacrifice, connection to creator, intelligence, renewal, courage, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, freedom, and risk-taker

    Elephant Strength, power, affection, loyalty, royalty, and wisdom

    Elk Strength and agility, pride, majestic, independence, purification, strength, and nobility

    Falcon New beginnings, adventure, passionate, and leadership.

    Fish Graceful, slyness, open-minded, quick to change one’s mind.

    Flamingo Heart healing, psychic, people person, flirtatious.

    Fox Cunning, agility, quick-witted, diplomacy, wildness, feminine magic of camouflage, shapeshifting and invisibility

    Frog Water energy, cleansing, rebirth, sensitivity, medicine, hidden beauty, peace, adaptability, poor character judgment and power

    Gazelle Aggressive

    Giraffe Communication, intuition, attaining the unreachable, seeing the future

    Goat Surefootedness, stubbornness, independence, diligence, lack of foresight

    Goose Self-demanding, reliable, prudent, rigid, vigilance, parenthood, and productive

    Gorilla Family-oriented, intelligence, strength, environmental protector, keeps peace through aggression.

    Grasshopper Good luck, abundance, forward, progressive.

    Grouse Personal power, enlightenment

    Hawk Messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship.

    Heron/Egret Aggressive, self-determined, self-reliant, multi-tasking, balanced.

    Hippopotamus Power, creation, imagination, healing.

    Horse Freedom, stamina, mobility, the land, travel, power, and freedom

    Hummingbird Messenger, timelessness, healing, and warrior

    Jaguar Chaos, shape-shifter, aggressiveness, power

    Kangaroo Forward, balance, creative, stamina.

    Lion Family, strength, energy, courage, guardian and protector

    Lizard Conservation, vision, self-protection, hidden defenses.

    Llama Comforting to others, secure.

    Lynx Keeper of secrets, guardian, listener, and guide

    Mole Sensitivity, guidance, searching.

    Monkey Ability to change the environment, health, success

    Moose Headstrong, longevity, steadfastness, and wisdom

    Mouse Scrutiny, order, organizer, and an eye for details

    Octopus Intelligence, camouflage, nocturnal.

    Opossum Diversion, strategist, and deceiver

    Ostrich Grounded, practical

    Otter Playful, friendly, dynamic, joy, helpfulness, and sharing

    Owl Deception, clairvoyance, insight, messenger,

    Ox Sacrifice, chastity and self-denial

    Panther Protection, hidden emotions, introspection, caution, careful decisions

    Parrot Communication, beauty, guide for wisdom, mockery, thinking before speaking

    Peacock Immortality, dignity, and self-confidence

    Pelican Resilient, unselfish, rising above.

    Penguin Self-discipline, grace, self-confidence, spiritual

    Porcupine Innocence, companionship, and trust

    Prairie Dog Swiftness, industrious, constructive, preparedness

    Puma Companion on journeys to other worlds, grace, silent power

    Quail Group-work, team play, creator of harmony and group tolerance, protectiveness (especially toward children)

    Rabbit Fear, timidity, nervousness, humility, rebirth,

    Raccoon Curiosity and cleanliness

    Ram Stoic, sensitive, persevering, curious, imaginative.

    Rat Fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury

    Raven Introspection, courage, self-knowledge, magic

    Rhinoceros Wisdom, solitary, insightful, solid.

    Roadrunner Mental agility, speed, opportunistic.

    Rooster Vanity, likes to be showered with gifts and attention, early riser, settling for nothing less than the best

    Salmon Proud, intense, confident, wisdom, inspiration

    Scorpion Transforming, strong, inspiring, chaotic, passionate

    Seagull Versatility, loud, easy-going nature, creativity, laziness

    Seahorse Confidence and grace

    Seal Love, longing, dilemma, active imagination, creativity

    Shark Hunter, survival, and adaptability

    Skunk Reputation, presence, and strength

    Snail Protective, aware, solitary.

    Snake Impulsive, shrewdness, rebirth, transformation, initiation, and wisdom

    Spider Balance, wisdom, creativity, communication

    Squirrel Planner and gatherer

    Stag Lord of the forest, masculine power of regeneration, signs.

    Swan Grace, balance and innocence, soul, love, beauty, of the self

    Tiger Strength, valor, power, and energy

    Toad inner strength, luck, self-examination

    Turkey Generosity, life-giver, and sharer

    Turtle Nurturer, shy, and protecting

    Unicorn Purity, innocence, dreamer, personal power, gentle

    Weasel Strength, energy, ingenuity and stealth

    Whale Wisdom, provider, intelligence, and kindness.

    Wolf Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, and spirit

    Woodpecker Sensitive, protective, and devotion

    Zebra Agility and individuality

  582. I did what sher did, google — there was a link that said some very interesting things about chipmunks:
    http://www.sayahda.com/cyc1.html

  583. Well, recurring animal images… Of late, that would be….

  584. Sock monkey

  585. SHER YOU KNOW. you just KNOW. right ON with your ART.

    haven you can get off your knees now. dude. obama has it in his hands.

    and yes he did take NC. so you’re good there, too. uncross your feet.

    but not mississippi, i was mistaken, i meant he took FLORIDA. 28 EC votes, every one of them luscious after that LAST FIASCO. mccain took mississippi. 8 EC votes.

    WATCH OUT FOR THE LANDSLIDE WHEN CALIFORNIA COME RUSHIN’ IN. EVERYBODY GRAB SOME WARM BLANKETS AND GOOD BOOKS AND CHOCOLATE. it’s a great night. it’s GOD’S NIGHT. amen to grandma obama. bless her for dying one day before the election, to swing some blue votes from the other side. xo sfc

  586. Carrie, that was veeeeerrrry interesting!!!

  587. I’ve been telling Obadiah that every candidate who wins miraculously won by a single vote, and then I point to my little sticker. Half an hour ago I shouted, “I just beat Elizabeth Dole, O.!” How that child has turned out so sane is beyond me.

  588. I did not see that coming, Florida. North Carolina was in the toss-up camp, too. I can almost stop holding my breath.

  589. haven, coyote????

    Also –

    sub-totems for me:

    butterfly
    catapillar

    the slug is stumping me, not sure if it qualifies as a totem, maybe as a shadow???

  590. oh man. i think i am a bird for sure. nothing majestic like an eagle–too showy. definitely not a vulture. maybe a nice hawk. we have an awesome hawk’s nest in our yard, and they are HUGE. yeah, i like that. i really wanna fly.

  591. I am incredibly attracted to turtles. The tinier and greener the more the sight of them catches in my throat. I used to collect turtle miniatures, and I am looking to keep some tiny ones as pets.

    One afternoon I was walking by a lake after a night of prayer during a tough time in my life. I thought “The only thing that could make this moment more beautiful is if I saw a turtle right now.” And and that exact moment I saw a beautiful turtle emerge from under the bridge I was crossing, swimming fast and graceful through the waterlilies, a straight shot to points unknown. I was breathless and goose pimply. It was one of the loveliest moments of my life.

  592. OMG I think I almost died of laughter – Jody!

  593. Kate – you should move to Muskegon then, we have a $300,000 turtle fence.

  594. What? Explain please.

  595. SHER (and all): I just put a file of dolphins blowing rings in the water on the yahoo website just for you…..synchronicity strikes again…my mom just sent it to me this evening so it must have been for you. It’s lovely.

  596. And yes, Haven has been exactly the same way since ever. She is Polaris.

  597. Oh, and Jodi…I tried that and came up with
    Cockroaches. My utmost dread.
    OOOGIE BOOOGIE
    now we have to sleep with the lights on.

  598. Please tell me, someone, that your totem is a goose. Do it for all of us.

  599. Jim — your avatar! your little sock and you!

  600. 😀

  601. That has to be one of the loveliest compliments I’ve ever witnessed. To be as ever, to be Polaris.

  602. brenda – as Claire would declare:
    “SaaaaWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTT”

    I have to go have an ultrasound treatment and get hooked up to a tens unit . . . will be MIA for a while . . .

    hey Obama, let’s go mama, i’ll be your lama . . . bama, bama, go bama, fanana mama bobama….bama . . .

    see ya soon!

  603. kate, we have a pond that is so full of turtles, it might be your heaven. some bite though. we had to “invisible fence” the dogs from the pond, due to frog and turtle collection. we have these “peepers” we call them–in the spring–these incredible frogs of all kinds–it seriously sounds like a rainforest. and you can sit on a HUGE rock on the side of the pond and just hang, turtles and frogs. ahhhhhh

  604. It’s a long black fence that’s supposed to save certain turtles from becoming extinct. They try to cross US31 at the low lying marshlands. Apparently someone didn’t figure out that the turtles lay their eggs on higher ground, near the fence, and baby turtles fit right through the chain link fence.
    And it cars keep leaving the roadway and smashing the dang thing.

  605. Sock, you are such a lovely man.

  606. I’m out, too. Looking at the computer all day (In my real, other life, I’m a web designer…) wrecks havoc on my eyes. But, a few more good blogs, and I’m sure I’d happily suffer blindness for the benefit of the conversation. 🙂

    Goodnight, all! Happy Obama-ing!

  607. I think my totem might actually be a goose. Petunia, the Christmas Goose.

  608. I might be a wood pecker. wouldn’t you know my awful last name haunts me again.

  609. THANK YOU, JIM SHUE! Oh, how I look forward to calling you Petunia.

  610. I LOVE PETUNIA. What a great book.

    Steph, I’m camping in your yard.

  611. THANK GOD! Katy Cake got the reference! Loved that book when I was a child. Last year.

  612. Indiana, Virgina, and NC are so close!!! grrrrr

  613. How can they call Indiana till 100% report? Didn’t Kate just tell us only last night: South Indiana is very different from North Indiana.

  614. Also, if he’s projected to have 207 electoral votes, and it’s 270 to win, and the left coast is decidedly … left, with 73…. this day is just getting better and better.

  615. Whew. Finally, I got to the end of the posts and it is not the middle of the night. Praise the Lord.

    My totem animal would have to be an elephant. I think elephants are amazing. In 5th and 6th grades my son attended a new school right next to the Nashville Zoo. At that time they were building a new elephant habitat and had just completed a new elephant house. So every single morning when I drove him to school we passed the area where the elephants were being washed off and were able to hang out and play with tires. Big giant tires were their little toys. Oh how I loved seeing those elephants. There is an Elephant Sanctuary in southern Tennessee but I have never ventured down there to it. But i know it is there and it makes me glad that someone is taking care of neglected elephants.

    So, yeah, it would be elephants for me.

  616. Linda, Evansville’s own Bunny lives in the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. How I miss her!

    I love elephants too…so cute!

  617. as happy as i am with what is happening so far tonight, i will be terribly disappointed if N.C. fails to swing BLUE tonight.

    but we DO have kay hagan.

    and one of two equally doltish candidates for governor. if i had been as smart as Haven, i would have written George in for governor of N.C.

    and yet: YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  618. Jim…I haven’t read Petunia’s Christmas!! Guess I know what book Alice needs for Christmas!

  619. there is not one single republican representative in new england. the one CT republican incumbent just conceded before the race was even “official”.

    OBAMA!!!

  620. True animal totem story: Thursday I decided to learn more about bluebird as totem. No particular reason, I just felt drawn to it. Downloaded some bluebird photos and got out my paints and pastels to make some drawings of bluebirds.

    On Friday, my 21-year-old daughter found her birth mother. I support her search, but it also scares the living hell out of me. When talking to her, I am filled with delight. When talking to myself, my delight is mixed with a strong dash of fear.

    On Saturday, I chopped a lot of wood (literally) and carried a lot of water (metaphorically). When I finally sat down on the patio to rest, a bluebird landed in the tree beside me. An honest-to-God, state-bird-of-Missouri, almost-died-off-but-being-repopulated bluebird. I have not seen one in more than a decade. Maybe two decades.

    Nothing I need more right now than the lesson of the bluebird:
    “When bluebird flies into your life it serves as a reminder to allow others to grow in their own way and time.”

  621. TN went to McCain, too, Amanda. Not a surprise. But, my birth state of NJ went to Obama. The state of my teens, PA, went to Obama. And my parents state of IL where I have spent so much time also went to Obama. So, I feel somewhat vindicated. OOOh, I also started college in Ohio and then went to Obama too. Yippee.

  622. Jerri, spare, dense, perfect post. I love who you are for your daughter.

  623. I really want to stay up late with you all but I can’t. It is my turn to drive the girls into the early AP Economics study session in the morning. Plus, my son is upset about Chemistry. Who wouldn’t be. Chemistry. Blah. So, I will likely hear more woe is me in the a.m.

  624. WOW. Virginia.

  625. OBAMA IS LEADING INDIANA 50% TO MCCAIN’S 49%! HOLY ____!!!!! 😮

  626. Virginia? It is all because of our dear George and his hard work. Seriously, George did it. I have no doubt. It was lucky George karma.

  627. Had to be. Sleep sweet, Linda.

  628. SERIOUSLY??!!! Indiana!? All you Hoosiers must be beside yourselves!!

  629. They just called it! The left coast was, of Course, all Obama!

  630. he wins!

  631. Obama won, yeee haaa!!!

  632. Official, per CNN — he has more than the 270!! 297!!

  633. I’m finally getting to log on tonight and I see that Haven now has over 600 comments. I think it was somewhere around 250 comments this morning. Yowza! How did you ever manage to do that on election day?

  634. YUP. HE’S HEADING OFF WITH INDIANA.

    AND W/ 87% OF THE NC PRECINCTS REPORTED, HE IS LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND VOTES BEHIND MCCAIN. they’ve been neck and neck, people…it’s REALLY EXCITING. he’s going to be president already? but i want him to ADDITIONALLY TAKE HOME NC. just BECAUSE,,

  635. HE DID IT.

  636. We just can’t stand it!!! Omyheart! UnFreakin! Believable!

  637. According to C-Span Obama has just been officially declared Eresident-Elect. There IS hope after all! How fantastic – a president of color, a Democrat, and also great in so many other ways…Yippee!

  638. I feel like I am outside my body.

  639. AND a Senate majority!!

  640. i didn’t think i’d cry

  641. I feel like crying too. This really gives me hope for our country, and our relationships with other countries and the world.

  642. THIS. THIS! This means more than there will ever be words for. Most life-affirming event of my life, past and future.

  643. Come gather round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    Youll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin
    Then you better start swimmin
    Or youll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance wont come again
    And dont speak too soon
    For the wheels still in spin
    And theres no tellin who
    That its namin.
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Dont stand in the doorway
    Dont block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    Theres a battle outside
    And it is ragin.
    Itll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And dont criticize
    What you cant understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you cant lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin. -Bob Dylan

  644. Suzanne, if Indiana goes blue, I will feel like I have witnessed a real miracle.

  645. I guess I should feel superfluous, being on the left coast. But I want more than anything to see Obama with a huge authoritative mandate.

    I so want to see Indiana go blue, for all of you, for all of us.

    McCain’s conceding now. Somewhat gracefully.

  646. McCain is giving his concession to defeat speech right now!

  647. ohio was a miracle. i am over the moon for this result. he did it. he really did it. his grandma knew.

  648. What a glorious way to end the day! Good night everyone.

  649. Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  650. McCain is conceding in a way worthy of his age.

  651. Anyone else notice the difference between the crowd in Arizona and the crowd in Chicago? It speaks volumes.

  652. How annoying is it that people were booing when he was being so sincere and respectful? Shut up and listen, GOPs!

  653. Yes he is. Very gracious. And I’m so glad to say buh-bye to that twit Sarah Palin, although I will miss Tina Fey’s take on her.

  654. in terms of diversity? or what? i mean, one lost, and one won

  655. I think McCain was humble and sincere and if he had been in this tone all along, he might have done better.

    Graceful.

  656. Yes, he did Haven. Much different than the campaign. He even stopped the booing.

  657. My brother and sister in law are @ Obama’s thing in Chicago right now. How friggin’ cool is that?

  658. there is hope.

  659. Four years ago, I cried out of sheer anger and frustration. Tonight I wept out of pure joy.

  660. I am so touched that I will remember this night, and waiting with you all, and talking about totem animals of all things,
    as the hallelujah rang across the land – and Lino in Italy is escstatic as well – it is a global event.

    let the healing begin.

  661. 4 years ago – the cursing and stomping I did – I had coniption fits . . . no kidding.

    I can’t do the happy pants dance cause I am immobile – but I just want to sing hallelujah, long and slow and quiet and loud and triumphant . . .

  662. I’m still waiting on Indiana and NC! It’s incredibly close.

  663. Indiana has 96.3% reporting in: Obama is in the lead by over 10,000 votes.

  664. North Carolina has 94.4% reporting in: Obama leading by almost 22,000 votes.

  665. there he is!

  666. pretty freakin cool, GFTG! He’s just beginning…

  667. awww the girls get a new puppy for the White House.

  668. yes we can

  669. YES WE CAN!

    goodnight.

  670. wanna know something funny? for a few months now, ever since this community started becoming such an enormous presence in my life, my totem animal has been THE BEE!

    to quote from Sher: “Bee Organized, industrial, productive, wise, community, celebration, fertility, defensiveness, obsessive nature, and enjoys life”

  671. Amanda Bee. Perfect.

  672. Sher, you are a genius and my hero for your wisdom about following your intuition (couldn’t agree more) and what you said about McCain’s final speech – I told Scott last night if his tone and sincerity had been as apparent in all of his campaigning as it was last night, the end result may have been different.

    You rock!

  673. Hoosier Steph –

    McCain kind of stunned me, it just made me wonder WHERE he was in the past year?

    I think he was so full of honor last night. I really hope that people listened and will support our country as it moves into a time of recovery and healing and that they will open their hearts to peace.

    I want my loved ones to come home safely, or I want them working in Afgahnistan where they are fighting for a worthy cause, at least. You are so sweet and we have to meet next time I am IN . . . also jim shue and Kate again – anybody else want to do a Hoosier Blog Baby meeting????

    Haven, when are you in IN again?????

  674. Nothing would make me happier than a Hoosier Blog Baby meet up!

  675. I have been trying to catch up, and Lord, you people stretch my mind. Life has been rough here, so I’ve been behind in comment reading, but the quote that keeps coming to mind for me is spawned of Hereclitus’s (yargh! spelling!). His student said, “Truly we cannot step into the river twice because it is ever changing…but because it is ever changing…we can NEVER step into the river…”

    Blew my mind.

    Haven–the books came and I cannot thank you enough. Also, thank you for sharing about the time after your dad died. You really do have a wonderful family. I don’t know that my sister would have locked me up in a Murphy bed…but she did vacuum up my Barbie clothes on any NUMBER of occasions.

  676. You people really can post until the cows come home, can’t you? Jeesh you are tenacious. My Dad called me today. Rolf’s brother has a friend in Montana who checked in on him after I posted. This friend was kind enough to stop by and called to say Dad was in good spirits and told him his daughter wanted him to call her. My dad had forgotten to dial a one before the area code. We had a nice long chat and he told me he thought that Obama winning was a good thing, that there was just something he liked about the guy. We talked for a long time and I told him I had called the fire department and asked if he heard someone knocking on his door, to which he replied “Yes, but I just felt like it was some jerkhead who I didn’t want to deal with right then.” Fair enough. I feel that way everyday of my life. Never here though, I wish I could respond personally to each and everyone of you. I wish I could read 10,000 posts and have a coherent reply. I am just glad to be among such good company tonight. I feel that we all are truly blessed. Love to each and every one of you, Dorian

  677. Oh and Haven, I got a Skipper doll without ever even wanting one. I guess my mom just thought I should have one. My sister had Barbie and Ken. I preferred Froggie and Owlie. I named Skipper “Diarreah” and nailed her through those gigantic plastic boobs to the floor with a hammer and two of the most gigantic nails I could find in my dad’s toolbox, meant for I cannot imagine what. What a devilish child I must have been. Twisted to the core.

  678. Dorian — what a relief your dad’s okay. I’ve been thinking about that post since you put it up. Just so glad you have angels about you.

    Maybe you should get him a pre-programmed phone w/your number on speed dial. With a little label on the 1 that says “Dorian.”

  679. Haven,

    I remember Aaron even though I only had a single class with him, Dr Young’s 16thC Poetry. I no longer remember his surname, but I’d love to get my hands on his books. He read a paper in there and I just sat there thinking that I’d never encountered someone so effortlessly oozing smart. My linguistics friend Jason Sellers was friends with him, but I barely knew him. A pity.


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