Random quote of the day:

“You have one thing that may save you, and that is your youth. This is your great strength. It is also why I hate and fear you. Hear me out. It has been said that children are our future. But does that not also mean that we are their past? You are here to replace us. I don’t understand why we’re here helping and honoring them. You do not see union workers holding benefits for robots.”

—Stephen Colbert, Knox College commencement address, June 3, 2006

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“[Art] doesn’t have to do anything. It just has to be there for the fierce pleasure we take in doing it…”

—Raymond Carver, The Paris Review, Summer 1983

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I can claim no service for myself, but my dad was a Marine for 30 years. He fought through the Pacific campaign in WW II and the Inchon Basin in Korea. Tough, bloody campaigns. He was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and gentlest men I’ve ever known. That wasn’t necessarily the case when he was on duty. That was Business, and a different thing altogether. But we rarely saw that side of him, and never directed at us, only at fools.

I remember one time when my apartment was broken into and Mom and Dad came over to wait with me until the police arrived. When the LAPD showed up, Dad (who never forgot a face of anyone he served with) said to one of the cops, “You were once one of my Marines, weren’t you?” The cop acknowledged that Tom had been his gunney sergeant many years before. Mom, who only knew gentle Tom, said, “But I bet he was much nicer than those guys usually are.” The policeman looked a little embarrassed, but then he smiled and said, “M’am, in my experience, gunneys are never nice.” My dad laughed so hard.

But it proved a point. Being a badass when it’s required to get you through a tough situation is appropriate and will help keep you and those around you alive. But it doesn’t mean you have to carry that badassery with you everywhere you go or use it as an excuse to lash out. There was still room in Tom’s soul to be kind, thoughtful, and gentle.

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This reminds me so much of Temple Church which we visited in Cornwall. It was also built by the Templars. It’s not just the style of the church—which I understand was a pretty standard Templar construction (they built them all over), but the peaceful little green valley that it was built into. They chose their spots well.

Full URL: https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/temple/temple/index.html


Temple Church, Cornwall

I’m not a Christian, but this was a genuinely holy spot. There was peace that surpasseth all. Some churches are like that, usually in quiet, out of the way spots. Others are merely hollow shells.

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Don’t let anybody tell you any different: trolls exist in both sexes. From a female POV it may just seem like they’re all male, and maybe the preponderance are (I have no objective evidence to prove it one way or another), but trolls definitely swing both ways.

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I have good taste. I know because Pinterest is always telling me so.

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It’s rare when something lives up to its hype, but in the case of Fleabag, it absolutely does. A wonderful series, completely unique.

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This time of year I’m always so glad that I stopped following the Dodgers years ago.

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D*mino’s: Pizza that tastes like it was made really, really fast.

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Donald Trump apparently believes that betraying our Kurdish allies and unleashing ISIS on the Middle East again will distract people from his impeachment. His usual bait-and-switch but it may backfire on him badly. Unfortunately, it also is going to kill a lot of innocent people.

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Crone

I thought I understood
but it was yet
another posture,
something not
comprehended
until skin ripples
on bones
and toes curl
walking the walk.

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From “Demolition Man,” The New Yorker, Dec. 24 & 31, 2007:

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I think everybody goes through a clueless twat phase in their life. Some of us do it in our teens and twenties, some much later in life, but in the old days, the cluelessness was viewed by a handful of people who just shook their heads in disbelief and moved on. With the advent of the internet and so many people longing to be “influencers,” that clueless is often on display for the whole world to see and has the potential of haunting you for the rest of your life.

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I think Trump’s Syria move may be an attempt to have a safe haven in Turkey when he flees the U.S. legal system. A back-up plan to Russia.

Random quote of the day:

“Debt is the slavery of the free.”

—Publilius Syrus, Maxim 14, Sentences

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“If chance had made the universe, what would conscience, remorse, and devotion signify?”

—Eugène Delacroix, journal, October 1822

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Yesterday, I decided to try a new deck of tarot. I had a reproduction of the Marseille deck that I’d never used and was going through it preparing to ask what they call interview questions to get to know the cards. I was shuffling them, hadn’t even asked a question yet, but one of them leapt from my hands and fell on the floor, which is always supposed to be significant. It fell sideways so it was neither upright nor reversed.

What card was it? This guy:

I stared at it, gobsmacked, then laughed. What else could I do? I picked him up and immediately opened the Marseille interpretation booklet.

Upright: “Energy and resources to advance, still looking for the right direction. Hovering above practical constraints. Determination and perseverance.”

Reversed: “Confusion, negative and inhibiting thoughts, self defeat. Sloppy use of one’s own tools may cause damage.”

I was still puzzled as to what the Knight was trying to tell me, but in the interval between then and now, I think I have a clearer picture. I went back to when he first started making his appearance, when he came up twice in the same reading, both times reversed. It occurred to me that I should perhaps always read him from the reversed position? But then I thought about the way he’d landed on the floor, sideways. As if I were at a tipping point and it could go either way.

It also occurred to me that I am at somewhat of a tipping point in my life—physically, spiritually, and in my creative life. I’ve been treading water, not really pushing myself too hard, allowing rationalization to dictate my momentum (or lack thereof) rather than just getting on with things.

So maybe Mr. Knight is telling me to get over myself and get moving.

If that’s not what he’s saying, I’m sure he’ll crop up again because I firmly believe the Universe repeats itself until you do get the message. Sometimes with slaps upside the head. And the slaps get harder the longer you refuse to listen.

I’m listening, Universe. I just hope I’m understanding.

Random quote of the day:

“There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.”

—Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I am an American, which is a complex thing. I know how some of us act in the world, and sometimes that makes me cringe in shame. I want to tell the world, “We’re not all like that.” But that’s a complex thing, too, because sometimes, in some moments, there is something in the American psyche which makes many of us go from 1 to 60 on the boorish scale in less than a second. Where does that American rage and boorishness come from? It’s entitlement, of course. I think it’s mostly a white middle to upper class thing. But sometimes even that’s a complex thing, an exercise in finger-pointing that no one, it seems, is completely immune to.

Some of us try hard not to be like that. I’m fortunate that I came from the lower classes, didn’t grow up thinking the world and everything in it was mine by right. Doesn’t mean I don’t snap sometimes and go into boorish mode. I’m human. And I’m American. And I’m white. But I’m always deeply ashamed and apologetic afterwards, so I try really hard not to go there—so I can live more comfortably with myself if nothing else.

I’ve been thinking about my last trip to England, in 2004. I’d been aware for some time how badly some of us acted overseas. So much so that if anyone asked if I was American, I would sometimes lie and say I was Canadian. It’s possible some rare Canadians act boorishly overseas, but I think it’s got to be much, much rarer than with Americans.

On that 2004 trip, there were three of us middle-aged ladies traveling together, and inevitably, inevitably whenever we overheard someone whining or complaining or acting childish in general, that person had an American accent. We decided we would go out of our way to be the polar opposite in every dealing we had with locals. This was about a year after the bombing of Baghdad and Bush’s invasion of Iraq, so Americans were even more unpopular at the time. Most people were decent to us, especially when we poured on the charm offensive, or when we voiced our own deep opposition to what Bush had done, but some were barely polite.

As I pondered all this, it occurred to me that Donald Trump is the Ugly American Made Flesh. He is the ultimate of loud-mouthed, ill-informed, corrupt entitlement boors. He is all American sins made manifest, a tulpa created from the worst instincts of the worst aspects of the American psyche, a thought-form embodying the American shadow. We made this tulpa—even those of us who would rather pretend to be Canadian. We allowed him to be elected, even those of us who voted for someone else. The 2016 election was the very embodiment of American arrogance and rage. How could we expect to have better candidates when we were all pulling so hard against each other? When we were all sunk so deep in our own arrogance that screamed, “My way or no way at all”?

Donald Trump isn’t just the worst president in American history, he is a reckoning for the American psyche, a lesson I believe we have failed to learn. Oh yes, he may (or may not) be on the ropes now, and good people are working hard to block him and bring him down, but have we truly learned anything from the last terrible years? I can’t say that I see it. Greed and arrogance and entitlement and “my way or no way” still abound. Americans have never been particularly good at self-knowledge, deep examination of our own souls, or acknowledging and working with the shadow. We’re still in denial. I fear we have learned nothing.

The ugly American lives on.

Random quote of the day:

“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.”

—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“When you can’t write, you feel you’ve been banished from yourself.”

—Harold Pinter, acceptance speech for the Shakespeare Prize, 1970

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

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