Quotables Category

Western Dave Made Me Cry

11 Mar 2008 In: LIVESTRONG, Quotables

Okay, he didn’t directly cause me to turn on the waterworks, but it is, without question, his fault. It was, after all, an item I found through his “Check It” that precipitated my tears.

As usual, I have some ‘splainin’ to do. Periodically, I visit The Art of Blogging Without Blogging to see Western Dave’s photos – sometimes lovely, sometimes whimsical, sometimes bizarre… Then I take a look at his “Check It” list. The title inspires me, despite my status as “Whitest Woman in the World,” to sing (just in my mind – never fear – only a half-crazy impulse) “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch CHECK IT OUT! Wha-wha-wha-wha What’s it all about?” Inexcusable, I realize.

Last week or so a tidbit about Mister Rogers caught my eye. Thursday, March 20th would have been Mister Rogers’ eightieth birthday. Western Dave linked to the following announcement about wearing one’s favourite sweater that day. Please watch it; it’s Mr. McFeely after all (and just so you know, HE’S NOT REALLY OLD. I’d rather not admit MY age when I learned about that). Here’s some additional information concerning the event:

In honor of what would have been Mister Rogers’ 80th birthday on March 20, Mr. McFeely — aka David Newell, the public relations director for Family Communications, Inc. (the nonprofit company founded in 1971 by Fred Rogers) — has a special request.

“We’re asking everyone (including members of the media) everywhere (from Pittsburgh to Paris) to wear their favorite sweater on that day,” he asks. “It doesn’t have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mister Rogers wore on the program, it just has to be special to you.”

Sweater Day is part of Pittsburgh’s 250th anniversary celebration and the first-ever “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Days March 15 — 20.

“We wanted to recognize Fred in a way that would reflect his deep appreciation of what it means to be a caring neighbor,” explains FCI’s Margy Whitmer.

As a result, “‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Days was born as a means of promoting neighborliness throughout Fred Rogers’ own backyard — Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

Throughout WYBMND more than 30 organizations have signed up to participate.

For more information about Sweater Day and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Days visit www.misterrogers.org.

This project supported in part by Pittsburgh 250 Community Connections and The Sprout Fund.”

After watching Mr. McFeely, I watched Mister Rogers in couple of videos. The footage of him testifying in front of Congress in 1969 is just amazing. With a gentle spirit but perfect candor – and in less than ten minutes – he prevented a grant for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting from being cut in half. Quintessential Fred Rogers. Kind, honest and compassionate to everyone he encountered.

Some people don’t get it. His genuine and unparalleled sincerity was and is so rare; perhaps that’s why some people just can’t buy it. They should watch this:

Sitting alone in the middle of the night, only part-way through a minute and twenty-five seconds of film, I found tears streaming down my face. This is the section that hit me the hardest:

I’m just so proud of all of you who have grown up with us. And I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger: I like you just the way you are.

I like you just the way you are.
In memory of Mister Fred McFeely Rogers, 1928 – 2003.

Sometimes There’s no QUESTION That You’re in Kansas

23 Sep 2007 In: Quotables

My Mother was in Kansas a few weeks ago, and she was helping Ashley with some “piece work” while they watched Sunset Tan (which is a peculiar and amusing circumstance all by itself, I must say). My Father called them (on the first cell phone of his VERY OWN – which is another amusing tale, but for another time) and asked what they were doing. This was Ashley’s response:

We’re making bull-sperm collectors.

And in case you’re wondering: YES, they were. Oh, the ways to make a buck in rural Kansas… One day, if you are very, VERY good I’ll tell you all about “bull fries.”

I got the following text message from Shirleen on Friday (you’ll have to envision the little icon bolt of lightening – it won’t transfer by email):

I’m officially turned on:)

Now AGAIN, don’t get all concupiscent on me, this is MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC and BIONIC. Hmm. That doesn’t sound too much better. But, referring back to my previous entries, particularly the one from August 11, 2007, you will remember Shirleen’s long overdue pain relief spine stimulating device has been implanted. Well, the surgical healing has progressed far enough, and, with the “bionics expert” looking on (evidently the rep for this device not only consults extensively with potential clients of this gizmo, he attends every surgery), they activated Shirleen’s anti-pain machine (with Bluetooth® technology).

I happy to report that she already is receiving some relief. When she’s completely healed from the surgery it should be even better (I should hope to shout).

Mind you, I think that not only is she entitled to some intense pain relief, I believe she deserves a bevy of tiny faeries to carry her to some cloud-enveloped island where she gets to lounge in an enormous bubble bath while handsome cabana boys fan her with gargantuan ostrich plumes and the scent of jasmine fills the air while the sounds of the gentle waves lull her into a well-deserved sleep. Oh – and there are other gorgeous cabana boys to feed her chocolate – especially delectable magical chocolate containing no calories whatsoever. And vitamins – one can subsist entirely on this chocolate, naturally, go to store and buy your vitamins to get healthy and strong.

Sadly, this is not to be the case. Instead, she was called into work to today so they could lay her off, because she is salaried and with the financial difficulties currently going on in the company they cannot afford her (I personally believe they cannot afford to lose her, but foresight is not the strength of most companies, in my experience). So now that she has achieved a state of increased mobility and will need less and less pain medication and so on, she will have to find a new job.

I’m not sure how she’ll feel about this, but I thought I’d just throw this out there: Anyone need a most excellent multi-talented employee? She can do anything, and if she doesn’t know how to do it already it will take her about five minutes to learn the task. Seriously.

She can expertly groom your dog (though there is a size limit to the canines with that now because of her back), help your bitch whelp its puppies (that’s not ribald – it’s the appropriate medical terminology) and then help you whip up a spreadsheet for financial planning, navigate a database, make multi-coloured explanatory charts and then do your taxes with her lightening-quick typing skills. Oh – and she can do all of this bilingually; she’s fluent in Spanish, too. Wait – she’s trilingual – she speaks some FINE teenager and can text message as fast and well as any sixteen-year-old. And don’t forget, she’s remote-controlled.

If anyone knows of any position that’s available at the moment, give a holler. She really can do just about anything. There are a few physical limitations – she shouldn’t dance, jog, do the “twist,” break dance, or, come to think of it, lift anything “heavier than a milk jug,” and krumpin’ is right out. I don’t know which or if any of these limitations change after more healing from the surgery, but I personally think the cane she uses adds a classy touch to any outfit or situation.

P.S. She has a certain sister who is relatively – okay – mostly unemployed. This sister is also multi-talented and very creative. Sorry, no Spanish, no cane, no puppy whelping (though she can throw a smattering – some smaller smatterings than others – of German, French, Italian, Latin at you, as well as a phrase or two in Russian, Spanish, Japanese, etc. and two phrases and some great song lyrics in Scots Gaelic).

Additionally, she is an ordained clergy person, can take the anal temperature of a feline, has excellent veins upon which many phlebotomists have trained, and possesses an unusual combination of knowledge concerning music (performing and teaching), theatre (performing and teaching), Shakespeare, genetic research, deposition transcription, some rudimentary knowledge of graphic design, retail management, event planning, medical ethics, U.S. Post Service approved address formatting and end-of-life care. She has been known in some work settings as the formatting and table and database QUEEN. What’s more, she has several seemingly useless skills that the innovative employer might find a way to utilize: She’s quite limber, she has double-jointed fingers and toes as well as an inordinately large cranium, an odd ankle deficiency, and she always carries a periodic table of the elements (an outdated version, but it will do for the basics). Oh – and she’s recently delving into cancer advocacy.

Mind you, Shirleen would definitely be a more ideal choice of employee at this point, and not just because she’s a single parent of actual human progeny rather than Kitten Children, but because it will still be a month or so before her sister has a minor medical procedure which should help a tad with at least one aspect of mood-leveling (positive mood-leveling is the hope).

The last first. Frenchy McFrench has spoken. I made the du a de, made plans to, as the FRENCH do, eschew capitalization in my blog title, and then I find that my syntax is altogether wrong.

But, from mes experts français well – rather mon cher expert français I have the final word(s). So, as you can see, I have AT LAST (I hope) correctly molded my title to make the French happy (I say as though “The French” are a key demographic who give a damn about my writing). We’ll just see what Google makes of this.

Now on to SCIENCE! I explained that Shirleen had been implanted with a spinal stimulating device so that we can direct her every move by remote control so that she can control her pain with a remote control. Unfortunately, this is one of those procedures that results in horrific pain in order to eventually control chronic, wretched, debilitating pain. They cannot actually switch on the device until her surgical recovery is complete. In the meantime, she is, “Lumpy, stripy and bruised.” (And SHE, being a sophisticate, pronounced BOTH syllables of “bruised” when she gave me the report over the phone. Well done.)

At least while she was in the hospital she was entertained and tutored in life by her “EIGHTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD” roommate (who either sang that information or related it in an extremely adamant manner – I’m not sure which). She did sing songs, regaled Shirleen with sage advice and stories, and made her laugh (which was painful, unfortunately).

The most amazing tidbit was, I think, this life-changing advice about relationships:

If you really love a man you give him an enema.

I, for one, am stupefied. Shirleen and I both concluded that the fact we never knew about this dictum, and therefore had never followed it as a guideline, explained a great deal about our lives in general. If only we had known. HOW COULD WE HAVE KNOWN?

We’ll just have to move forward now, armed with this crucial knowledge. I’m just wondering how one infuses the willingness to administer this essential (I guess?) medical procedure – as a sign of affection – into a computer dating bio. And people wonder why I don’t leave the house that much. Don’t you see? I have very grave matters to ponder.

Wouldn't this be a cool tattoo?Oooooh – back to the science. Once the nice doctors do turn Shirleen on (DON’T GO THERE, YOU KNOW VERY WELL WHAT I MEAN) she gets to control her device with a wireless Bluetooth® remote. Oh yes, she has Bluetooth® connectivity. That certainly gives new meaning to the slogan, “Experience hands-free in so many ways.”

I’m already trying to decide what I might do with my Bluetooth® headset (find out what one’s crazy spine sound like?). And I have a Bluetooth® mouse. I LOVE the idea that I could somehow incite funky chicken dances or the the like with that implement. My dad’s PDA has Bluetooth® connectivity. Perhaps we could upload data directly into her spinal column. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Your suggestions would be appreciated.

Happy Belated Earth Day

24 Apr 2007 In: Celebrate!, Quotables

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin…
– William Shakespeare (Troilus and Cressida, Act III Scene iii)

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I’m Not Sure the IRS Would Agree

6 Mar 2007 In: Blood is Thicker..., Quotables

I had been giving my Father a hard time about his “creative” financial practices, and said of a particular way of distributing funds, “It’s just all made up anyway.”

This was his response:

It’s not “made up,” it’s a matter of OPTIONS.

I shall remember this sage advice the next time something “legal” comes up in my life. Thanks Dad.

Just for Grettir

29 Jan 2007 In: Quotables

The other night, while “channel-surfing” (which I don’t often do, as I grew up with Charles and his attention-deficit version of channel-surfing which is enough to make one dizzy and nauseated – it’s almost psychedelic), I happened across a repeat of a Conan O’Brien show featuring Kate Beckinsale (ÜBER-WENCH), and she was completely charming (curse her). Conan said that he’d heard that she’s a performer who hates to watch her own movies. She validated this as truth in a self-deprecating manner with just the right soupçon of charisma and allure incarnate. I hate her. In a nice way.
What would I do if I were so HIDEOUS?

She said that she was well-aware that she had “huge teeth.” Hmmm. Pearly white, PERFECT teeth (and she’s BRITISH). She then recounted an anecdote (CHARMING, of course) in which her husband had recently coerced her into watching something she’d been in. She maintained that she was horrified:

I looked like a giant, militant, lesbian squirrel.

Now this is FUNNY, too. I detest her. And I don’t know that it’s in a nice way…

Then she said:

My head is gigantic; it’s like Easter Island

Ha! Now this one I can trump. I’ll show HER a ginormous head. Easter Island? Phhhht. I have a noggin like the Great Pyramid of Giza. Take THAT, other Kate.

Say HELLO to My Leetle Frien’!*

31 Oct 2006 In: Blood is Thicker..., Quotables

As it is not EVERYDAY you accuse one’s child of being a possible cugine, especially one of your SISTER’S children, so I sent Janet the following email:

Okay, first of all, don’t be offended because I said on my blog that Anders might have mob ties. It’s really funny – I PROMISE.

Also, even if I’m a very bad sister, I think you should share ALL your Costco albums with me so I can see all the cute pictures of your family. Please? Especially since of every 50 or so pictures Dad takes, 47 are blurry.

Your Bad Sister,
Who you should love ANYWAY because she is a Child of God,

P.S. No guilt trip or anything. 🙂

Okay, I was ALSO trying to wrangle a bunch of photos from her…

Do you think I twisted the knife just a little too far with the “because she is a Child of God?” Hmmm. Nothing like exploiting someone’s obligations to benevolence.

Her response follows. I think she has a rather lilting à la Virginia Woolf stream-of-consciousness style. Moreover, she didn’t write this email in all SHOUTING CAPS, as she is sometimes wont to do (I tell you, it’s GENETIC):

I am so offended. Not because you insinuated he had ties but because you failed to recognize him as the mod [sic] boss which is what he really is. That is funny that you referred to him as that because mom bought him a somewhat unattractive baby outfit last year. It was basically a velour jogging suit with a bear on it and it zipped up. My friend Amy would always call him boss and tell me to buy him some gold chains. I’ll send you the albums when I get a chance.

Well, there you have it. My suspicions were very well founded.

Hereafter, forever, please refer to Anders as “The Boss.” Now, as he grows up, we can patiently wait for the day when he becomes Capo di tutti capi. I know Janet and Erik will be so proud.

*Yes, I stole this from Terry, as it was just too good. Oh – please call her “Cougar.”

I Knew I’d Use “Screaming Banshee” Eventually

16 Feb 2006 In: Quotables

A Very Happy Belated Valentine’s Day to All Y’all. My greeting is late, because I went to Blobby Farm to link to my favorite Valentine’s Blog-E-Gram (okay it’s the ONLY Valentine’s Blob-E-Gram, but it’s AWESOME), and was met with this tragic message:

Sadly, Blob-E-Grams have been abused by spammers and will be unavailable until we can get this sorted out. Thanks for your patience.

CURSES on you, abusive spammers!!! It’s reprobates like YOU who ruin it for all of us! To quote something I recently heard exclaimed by a group of young girls (particularly Emma), “The horror, THE HORROR!” Forlorn and despondent, I took to my bed (okay, I would have done that ANYWAY, but it sounds better when I can blame it on something).

Today, a ray of sunshine! Mary Ellen, The Very Best Aunt in the WIDE WORLD had sent me a copy of a Valentine’s e-card. I wasn’t able to make it function properly until today, but it was worth the wait. Here ’tis:

A Screaming Banshee Goes on a Date

It’s no Blob-E-Gram, but is nonetheless VERY deserving of praise and accolades.

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Authentic Naked Rat Slogans?

16 Jan 2006 In: Quotables

After consistently receiving ominous warnings from my mobile phone to the effect of, “MEMORY 95% FULL,” and “SELF-DESTRUCT MODE WILL ACTIVATE” and so on, I was cleaning up my text/pict messages a little. A few messages prompted a chuckle, several were so cryptic I wouldn’t dare hazard a guess as to their context or meaning, and then I found this doozy:


Documentation indicates that I sent this message to Charles on September 30, 2005 at 9:01 p.m. Yes, I said it. I do know that he had sent me a picture of a naked mole rat at some point, but what prompted me to try and come up with an all-you-can-eat-restaurant-type advertising slogan for said rats is beyond me. Ten days earlier I also evidently said:

Might come in handy at a wine tasting…

This seems fairly innocuous, unless you consider that day we were discussing his animal science class – “just another day in animal science class” – to be specific, from which these quotes resulted. Come on – as if there was any doubt that Charles had given me those quotes.

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Cheese Wisdom

When a dog has money, he buys cheese.Unknown
Jamaican Proverb



In Memorium