Random quote of the day:

“He who foretells the future lies, even if he tells the truth.”

—Moroccan proverb

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’m not such a believer in prophecy. I give credence to premonitions because I’ve had experience with them, but grand prophecies always seem a stretch to me. Still, sometimes you can read the currents running through a society; sometimes the zeitgeist speaks clearly.

But when I was cleaning out some old files this morning, I came across this old post, “The Beauty of Moonlight,” written not long after George W. Bush launched his war against Saddam Hussein. I was not a supporter of this war. I thought it built on very shaky ground, and that it was mostly launched for two reasons: 1) because Bush wanted revenge against Saddam Hussein trying to kill his father, and 2) because the Bush Administration wanted to seem to be doing something in response to 9/11. I think the attack against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan was a direct response to that attack, but Bin Laden eluded capture and the dogs of war were baying for more and more visible and easy to hit targets. And so we launched an illicit war.

Make no mistake about it: Saddam Hussein was an evil mofo. But there are many such evil rulers across the globe which many U.S. administrations have turned a blind eye to. The attack against Iraq wasn’t about that at all, and I believe the U.S. sold a piece of its soul when we launched it. I will forever honor the men and women who fought in that war, but their honorable service was done at the behest of deceivers.

But prophecy…The first part of the post referenced above is about 9/11, the second half about the karmic debt we might have to pay as a nation for our actions in Iraq. I won’t restate it here because if you’re interested you can read that post.

The purpose of this post is to say that . . . we may currently be paying that debt. Our democracy, our “sacred” institutions are under attack in a way they have never been before. We’ve elected a Fascist and the Republican party is goose-stepping along in sync with his attack on the rule of law; hate groups are rising at an alarming rate. The good news is that we have good children who seem willing to take up the activism necessary to fight this evil, but we still have a long way to go before we can clean this mess up. And let’s be real–things will never be the same again. Once those dogs of hatred are loosed in any society they only want more chaos. It will be a long, hard fight to defeat them.

If we can.

I believe in our children. I still believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the American rule of law that once before brought down a crooked president. I was never more proud of this country than I was in the aftermath of Watergate because it proved that no American was above the law, even a president.

But I have no prophecy or premonitions to offer here. I only have hope that it’s still true.

In April 2008, around the anniversary of the death of my Aunt Maxine, I started seeing 11:11 every day when I looked up at the clock. Not every time I looked at the clock because 11:11 only comes twice a day for those of us on a 12-hour clock, but often I’d feel compelled to look at the clock at this precise time. It went on for over two weeks and became rather unsettling.

What was the Universe trying to tell me? Something significant, or just that random chance sometimes gets stuck, throwing “heads” 85 times in a row?

Then I remembered my Aunt Maxine’s birthday was November 11 and wondered if it was her saying, “Hey, I’m still around. Don’t worry so much.” This was a comforting thought and the creepiness factor went away, although the 11:11’s didn’t. I kept seeing them for weeks after.

So I did what any semi-rational human being would do in such circumstances. I googled it.

Golly. There are a universe of beliefs around the coincidence of seeing 11:11. Yeah, I still (mostly) call it a coincidence, even though my personal anecdote seems to convey meaning, because post hoc theorizing and confirmation bias and because of all the fuzzy and convoluted theorizing I read online.

For instance, there’s this guy:

Um. I did scurry to my tarot to see what card was 11. It’s Justice. I thought, “If it’s the Hanged Man I’m going to mess myself.” Because for me that relates to 9/11 and I just didn’t know if I could stand that. The Hanged Man was 12.

Mr. Fuller is right about it being more important for me to find my own answers, but I looked online for more data points.

Uri Geller has a lot to say on 11:11 but I can’t tell you all of it. I fell asleep about halfway through his article. In all fairness to Mr. Geller, this strange phenomenon happened to me on more than one article on 11:11, which doesn’t always coincide with clear and concise theorizing.

Of course, no consideration of 11:11 would be complete without this:

However, some of the folklore surrounding 11:11 is charming, like the idea that if you look up to see it your wish will come true. Or when you see it repeatedly it means that you are beginning to “awaken” spiritually, and 11:11 is the indicator that you’re on the right path. Some believe it’s a sign that your angels are listening and you should ask for their guidance.

Other beliefs are darker, like the theory that 11:11 is a portend of great earth changes or history on the brink of something momentous…Actually, I don’t want to think on that one too hard, given recent seismic events in politics. I much prefer the belief that when you see 11:11, you should stop and consider the significance and importance of the moment in which you live. Of the moment, in the moment.

But Maxie, if that was you, I love ya, babe.

30 Nov
Huh! With everything, I completely forgot about the looming Mayan Apocalypse. I wonder if I’ll even notice?

30 Nov
Mom is being transferred to the rehab center this afternoon. That was fast! Such a bundle of conflicting emotions right now. She’s feeling much better and they’ll give her the help she needs. But I’m still twisted in knots. This isn’t a logical I thing, it’s an emotional one. I’ve been her only caregiver for a long time and have to remind myself I’m not abandoning her but getting help.

2 Dec
God save me from people who think being an artist excuses all manner of bad behavior. Mom’s roommate is an Artiste and the most self-absorbed tyrant to her children and everyone else I’ve met in a long time. They’re talking of moving her Monday. Hallelujah.

3 Dec
There are people who will return your phone calls and others who are never going to be able to do that. You have to let go of expectations.

4 Dec
A horror show in the Marina:  It broke my heart to see those gorgeous old trees taken down, some 40 years old or more. I have to drive by the stumps of 50+ cut down trees every morning and evening and I keep imagining them crying out in pain and horror. Sometimes a good imagination is a liability.

4 Dec
Your decision: try to help a man off the tracks before he’s hit by a subway train or take a picture of him as he’s about to get hit? Then sell it to the NY Post, of course. What is wrong with some people?

4 Dec
The physical therapist at the rehab center thinks that with some therapy Mom may be able to get back on her feet. This would be a very good thing.

5 Dec
I hope it’s not an omen of Apocalypse: yesterday while sitting at the gas station a dismembered pigeon wing dropped in front of my car. A crow came along presently to fetch it and fly away.

5 Dec
The girl bicycling in a thigh length beige fake fur coat. (At least, I hope it was fake.)

10 Dec
Just when I thought I could relax a bit, the medical transportation company decided to clusterfu*k my mother’s dialysis appointments. Foolish me. You can never relax in the caregiver biz.

11 Dec
Exhausted, desperate for rest, don’t know when that’s going to happen. And the Christmas carolers are here. The happiest time of the year.

12 Dec
Ironic juxtaposition: Driving to work I followed a rusted, corroded, bondo-enhanced “personal pleasure craft” full of fishing poles being towed by some guy to the Marina del Rey. Just as I wondered if they had life jackets on board that mess NPR announced, “Forty years ago today The Poseidon Adventure premiered in theaters.”

13 Dec
So the fire captain of my local fire house called to say he was meeting with the Chief about my mother’s 911 call that they botched. I have no beef against their house—they’ve helped us many times. But this call was not their finest hour. Glad it’s being addressed. The hospital and Mom’s doctors filed a complaint against them. Still, I appreciate the outreach.

13 Dec
Some bright spark asked at the official timekeeping meeting about the tradition of sending us home early the day before a holiday. No more early exits for us. Don’t ask and we won’t officially tell.

13 Dec
Free-floating anxiety. Tried all day to reach Mom on her cell phone. She had her headphones on and couldn’t hear the phone. I’m exhausted. It makes the imagination a wee bit crazy sometimes. I managed to calm down after I talked to her. I need to take up meditation or something.

14 Dec
Obviously handing out a high-powered weapon to anyone who wants one is a great idea. /bitter irony

17 Dec
On the drive back from visiting Mom at noon I couldn’t take listening to tragedy anymore so punched the button for KUSC. Just in time for Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. And yes, I sang along!

18 Dec
The clouds this morning a fuzzy gray blanket lying heavy on the tops of the Santa Monica Mountains and tucked in over the foothills and city.

18 Dec
Driving around yesterday I saw several celebrities. Robert Pattinson (not really) was driving towards the airport at Lincoln & 83rd in a late model muscle car that had been primed gray but not painted. Edgar Winter (not really), dressed all in black, crossed the street at Lincoln headed towards Marina del Rey Hospital. Stephen Fry (not really), his hair grown out long, crossed in front of me at Pacific and Windward heading towards the Venice Circle. At that point I really did begin to wonder if there was a celebrity lookalike convention in town or something.



Random quote of the day:


“Soothsayers make a better living than truthsayers.”

—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms


Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“The historian has a hard enough time unraveling the secrets of the past, and might actually be called a prophet in reverse. He is trying to discover what was there, which is almost as difficult to find in the past as it is in the future.”

—Daniel J. Boorstin, historian, interviewed by Jim Lehrer, 1987


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Fortune-telling is often associated with carnivals, gypsies, and fraud.  Yet many saints have had the gifts of prophecy and of knowing human hearts.  Do fraud and sainthood have something in common?”

—George P. Hansen, The Trickster and the Paranormal

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I should preface this story by saying that my mother is a strong Valkyrie of a woman, even at 89. She’s also damned sharp and not frail and she most definitely doesn’t cry often, so when she called me Thursday morning at work sobbing, I definitely sat up and took notice.

“What’s wrong, what’s wrong?”

“My little bird is very sick,” she sobbed. “I called his vet, but she’s not in and they referred me to an emergency bird place in Palos Verdes.” That’s a long, unfamiliar way for someone who doesn’t drive freeways and doesn’t have Google Maps or internet access or a Garman.

She adores her baby bird, she does. He’s been a great companion for her for the last seven years or so, and she’s quite protective of him. Because of that she’s sometimes been convinced he was dying when he wasn’t, so I asked her to describe his symptoms. It didn’t sound good. He wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t talk, wouldn’t do anything, just sat on his perch (a little shelf in the back of his cage) with his eyes shut and his feathers ruffled. When birds don’t feel well, they sit for long periods with feathers ruffled.

“Maybe I can find a bird clinic that’s closer and easier to get to,” I told her.

So I got online and found a place in Santa Monica. She called them and they told her she’d have to come in for an evaluation to decide if it was a true emergency worthy of calling in the bird expert. She didn’t like that and had worked herself up into a real state by the time she called me back. I was more concerned about that then the bird, I’m afraid, but concerned for him,too. I told my boss what was going on (well, that my mom had a crisis situation going) and he told me to go take care of my family. So I called her and told her I was on my way and maybe she could call the Santa Monica folks back to tell them we’d be therre.

It took me about twenty minutes to drive from work to Mom and during that time I couldn’t help remembering a disturbing dream I’d had on the weekend in which her bird had died. So I wasn’t happy with the Universe sending me precognitive dreams when we’d made a deal after my dad’s death that It wouldn’t do that anymore. It was a long damned twenty minutes, I’ll tell you. I pulled into the driveway and rushed towards the house.

Mom met me at the door. “He laid an egg!”

Picture my jaw hitting the front steps. Picture me grabbing the porch rail. Hear in your mind’s ear the sputtering noise I made. “He what?”

“He laid an egg!” She was beaming. “And he’s just fine now! He’s talking and his feathers aren’t ruffled and he’s eat and jumping around and he’s his old self again.”

“Now quite his old self,” I told her, “because he is quite clearly not a he.”

We called the bird clinic and told them we would not be coming in. I made it back to work, having only been gone and hour, and took it as an “early lunch.” Everyone there was quite relieved that the mysterious crisis had been averted.

In our defense, I should say that even the vet said, “I think he’s male, but it’s difficult to tell with starlings.”