Monthly Archives: March 2012

Who Am I?

Even before computers I found a lot to laugh at.  But since computers?  I’ve found that it’s hard to not laugh at whatever happens to appear in front of my eyes, magically, through the tubes that are the internets.

Just now, while sitting alone here at my kitchen table, sipping a cuppa, I laughed loudly enough to wake up Cooper, who is stone deaf.  Yup, it was that funny.

What was it?  What could it be?  What could make me stop writing what I was writing to share a laugh?

Well, I really don’t know how it happened.  Or I don’t know how I got to the starting gate.  You see, I was Googling pictures for a post when I suddenly found myself at Moondustwriter’s Blog.  I had never seen it before; it’s a photography blog, and the picture on this particular post was a beautiful shot of a rocky beach in the moonlight.  It looks like Maine to me, and I love Maine.  The accompanying poem was beautiful too.  But not being a poetry lover, I was quickly distracted by what I saw on the sidebar:

Can you see it there on the bottom right?  I write like Mark Twain.  Pretty cool, don’t cha think?  Of course, I wanted to know who I write like.  So I clicked on the link.

Wait, wait, come back!  Don’t you want to know what happened next?  Don’t you want to know who it is I write like?  Or like whom I write?

Well, I looked at my list of favorite blog pieces, and chose what I thought was my best:  Both Sides Now, my story about how all my family members die on holidays.  And I learned :

Wow!

Cool.  I like Kurt Vonnegut, but I never considered myself in his league, or even remotely like him.  But I’m guessing the dark humor is Vonnegut-esque.  Interesting.

But, I wondered, are all my posts so dark?  I didn’t think so, so I plugged in another piece:  Downsizing, a story of how hard it is to resist stuff.

And lo and behold, I write like Chuck Palahniuk, who I’d never heard of.  I immediately went to Amazon.com and ordered all of his books though.  That is, of course, what I want anyone who hasn’t heard of me to do when they find that they write like me.  Here’s a sample:

Look, it's even got my face on the cover!

Again, I wasn’t sure that either of these two posts really reflected just who I am.  I mean, my blog is a mish-mash of stuff.  So I tried it again.  And again.  And again.

  • I entered my About page:  David Foster Wallace (damn, more books to buy).
  • I entered Take Me Back, about how Sarah Palin thinks that President Obama wants to go back to pre-Civil War days:  H. P. Lovecraft
  • I entered Color My World, my recent piece about Redbud trees:  Margaret Atwood.  Hey, I’ve read HER!

Lastly, I entered Great Balls of Fire, my piece about my neighbor Beau who built Tara Oaks, and who, I’m sure will soon host Civil War reenactments on his meadow:  this time I was Margaret Mitchell.

Apparently I am either wildly talented or have a multiple personality disorder.

Here’s the link.  Let me know who you are!

Hey, wait, I need to keep checking the link until I find that I am, in fact, Victor Hugo.

96 Comments

Filed under Awards, Conspicuous consumption, Humor, Music, Technology

I Tried to Resist. Really I Did.

Really.  I tried to resist posting this clip.  I tried hard.

I wrestled with my sense of “oh I can’t subject my international readers to this” and my sense of humor.  My tendency to show serious things in a funny way.  My senses of humor won.  My fundamental need to post about hypocrisy won.   Because this is as close to the truth as I have seen in a long time.

Happily found on Dailykos.com at this link.

62 Comments

Filed under Elections, Family, Health and Medicine, Humor, Hypocrisy, Politics, Stupidity, Voting

Pounding Wood

At the park this morning, I watched a whole lot of birds.  And I figured out American politics in the process.

Specifically, I learned that we’re not eagles.

Google Image, of course

No, I didn’t mean those eagles, although we’re not them.

I meant these eagles – and we’re not them either.  We’re not golden eagles either.

Naturally I am confused about this, since I thought all Americans were cunning, smart and resourceful, just like our national symbol.

But we’re not at all like eagles.  I’m pretty sure we Americans are much more like woodpeckers.

Pileated Woodpecker. Thanks, Google

We come in all shapes and sizes.

Redbellied Woodpecker (yeah, I know it has a red head. I don't name these things)

We’re black and white and red and gray and brown.

Smoky brown woodpecker.

And we hit our heads against hard stuff all the time.  Repeatedly.

Take the issue of health insurance, for example.

The people who need it most are the ones who oppose it most.  They just slam their heads into those trees, again and again.  But at least woodpeckers get bugs and build nests.  Human woodpeckers get nothing for their troubles.  Well, except troubles.  Oh and large bills.

Who can’t afford medical care?  Where do they live?  Let’s look.

Poverty in the US

Then Check out these maps showing US distribution of diseases and conditions that, well, just might need a visit to a doctor from time to time:

Diabetes

Distribution of cardiovascular disease:

Heart Disease

Distribution of obesity:

Now, look at the map of folks who don’t have health insurance

Who DOESN'T HAVE Health insurance?

And the map of states whose government are fighting Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

States trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Can I see a show of hands of who sees a pattern here.  Yeah, I knew you’d notice that it’s all the folks who probably need health insurance most  have elected governments that are fighting against insuring them.

Yup, we’re a nation of peckers.

********

Bird images from Google unless otherwise noted.

Maps from the U.S. Centers from Disease Control unless otherwise noted on the map or here:

Diabetes map:

http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/DDT_STRS2/NationalDiabetesPrevalenceEstimates.aspx

Poverty map:

http://www.censusscope.org/us/map_poverty.html

Heart Disease map:

http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/maps/national_maps/hd_all.htm

Who has Health Insurance:

http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/maps/sd_insurance_2000.htm

102 Comments

Filed under Health and Medicine, Humor, Hypocrisy, Politics, Stupidity

Color My World

They didn’t color my childhood.  In fact, growing up in Connecticut there wasn’t a single one.

When I moved to Washington, DC, however, people kept talking about red buds all spring.  I thought everyone was weird.  What was the big deal?  Most trees have red buds, and when the leaves come out, they’re green.  Or else flowers come out, and they’re purple or pink or white.  Why was everybody talking about “red” buds?  I kept looking around for a particularly beautiful red-flowering tree.  But there weren’t any.

My father-in-law finally set me straight.  About 5 years after I’d moved down here, Johnny pointed right at one — that’s a “red bud.”

What color do you see?

“But it’s purple,” I responded.

“Yes I know it’s purple.  It’s a red bud.”

“No.  It is a ‘purple bud.’  Why would you call an obviously purple tree a red bud’”?

“Because that’s what they’re called.  The buds are red.”

“All buds are red, or most of them.”  Logic never wins arguments.  Ticks me off.

I thought that maybe the trees that I call “purple buds” were indigenous the DC area.  Maybe, I thought, they only grow in swamps or in places where people suffer from that special DC combination: over-sized egos + Potomac Fever.

But no, Wikipedia tells me that Cercis canadensis  (Eastern Redbud) grow in much of the U.S. and in parts of both Canada and Mexico.  Of course the picture Wikipedia gave me ignores Canada completely.

Eastern "Redbud" Distribution

Sorry Canada.

I got to thinking and I figured that maybe, just maybe, if we can start by renaming these trees, by calling them what they obviously should be called, well then maybe we can work out all the other problems in the U.S.  And after that we can tackle the problems of the rest of the world.

But of course, then we’d have to get Congress to agree:

Eastern Purplebud Tree

Are they purple?

Eastern Pinkbud Tree

Or are they pink?

(Google took these pictures, not me.)

60 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Family, Global Warming, Humor, Politics

Does This Make Sense To You?

All this talk by the GOP about banning contraception, particularly for poor women, has me a little bit confused. And for good reasons.

The first one is because I’m pretty sure that the poor and downtrodden aren’t really the GOP’s base.  So why do they want more poor people?

Then there’s the money part of this question.  Because, last I heard, Republicans are really big investors.  Don’t Republicans invest in drug companies that sell contraceptives? You know, birth control?  Products that keep people from having babies when they, umm, you know.  Don’t Republicans want to make money from their investments?

But the third and most baffling reason I don’t understand their desire to prevent women, and particularly single women, from getting contraceptives — making it more likely they’ll have babies — is because of what single women can and have done:

From Dailykos.com

Politics is so gosh darn confusing.

 

 

93 Comments

Filed under Elections, Family, Humor, Hypocrisy, Politics, Science, Stupidity, Susan G. Komen