Monthly Archives: October 2020

Be Careful what you wish for

From Julie’s diary dated 10/30:

I can’t take it any longer.

The noise. The yelling and the sound of breaking furniture and glass. I just can’t. How long must I put up with this? I wish…I wish…I wish for absolute silence.

Every weekend, he comes home drunk and mean. Sometimes he just sulks in front of the TV. But sometimes…he continues to drink, then he throws things. The plate that hit my little boy caused 6 stitches in his eyebrow. The bruise on my little girl was from the book he sent hurling across the room because she walked in front of the tv during the game. I have had 16 trips to the hospital for concussions, broken bones, stitches. I told him I am sending the kids to grandma’s house on the weekends so they can have a little time with her and we could have a little “time to ourselves.” So the kids aren’t bruised and broken, but he’s raised the bar on me.

We had to eat on paper plates yesterday because all the glass ones have been shattered. He was furious and yelled at me and threw the food on the floor. Then he forced me down on my knees to clean it up but not before he bashed my head into the mess. I have an egg-sized bruise on my forehead. We eat take-out so I don’t have any heavy cooking implements in the house. I keep one knife under my side of the mattress, but the rest of them are at Mom’s. She says the kids cry buckets when it’s time to come home. So do I.

Every time I think I’ve got some money saved up so we can leave, he finds it and spends it. He made a down payment on a truck we can’t afford. He bought a 72” screen TV, then he put a chair through it when his team was behind. He skipped paying the electric bill and took all the money he found and went to the casino instead of going to work. He told his boss I was in a mental institution and he had to come visit me! He had the gall to yell at me when the power was turned off! And when he isn’t sulking, he’s yelling. All the time! He won’t let me go running, or take a walk, or go out with what used to be my friends.  He said they were no good! He said they were trying to turn me against him and he threatened to beat them up if they ever contacted me again. He used to go bowling with his friends on the police force until the owner threw him out for launching a bowling ball at the team in the next lane. The police should have seen the red flags, but they said, “Naw, Sarge had been drinking so it wasn’t his fault.” He won’t allow me to go to the hospital closest to our house because some of his friends might start asking questions. Uh oh, he’s home. I have to hide this.

Found on a notepad under the pillow on the hospital bed.


He found my diary.

He said nothing for a while, just stared at me with pure hatred on his face.

Very calmly and coolly he asked if I really wished for absolute silence. Then he boxed my ears. The doctor says he broke both my ear drums.

He’s coming in to pick me up before I can get discharged…before the police can ask any questions.

He brought my diary and ripped out a page: He wrote, “Now you won’t hear me when I come to kill you.” Then he tore it up and put it in his pocket. He was laughing as he left the room.

I hope you find this message.


I went to a funeral yesterday. My friend’s mom had died. My friend has 3 sisters and a brother, and 4 of the 5 kids got up to speak about their mom.

There is a scene in City Slickers, just after Curly’s funeral, where Billy Crystal starts reflecting on his status as a human being. His friends check the time and money changes hands. They know that sooner or later Billy’s going to comment on the existential truth of life…that it ends. He’s surprised they don’t think the same way.

I guess I’m a bit like Billy Crystal. After listening to the heartfelt feelings and memories of their mother, I noticed a thread that connected them. It was her cooking. She cooked, and baked, and canned and preserved. It became evident that the kitchen was the heart of their home. The smells, the feelings, the community of their family centered around it.

I came to the realization that this was not the case in my family. Eating was something that everyone in the family had to do, but my mom took no joy in it–it was a chore, a duty. I remember her greasy chicken, her dinners where everything on the plate was some shade of yellow, her bland Christmas dinners. She had a schedule that she never altered. She didn’t have to think when she cooked. She bought the same groceries every week. She never added garlic or herbs or spices unless it was salt and pepper and possibly Worcestershire sauce. She made chocolate cake with mocha frosting for birthdays. Every Saturday night she made cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast.

What WAS the heart of our home? The grand piano. Mom meditated by practicing, we all had lessons, we listened to Mom’s and Dad’s lessons, Dad played the trumpet literature and Mom accompanied him. We listened to classical radio when there weren’t students coming in. We all practiced our instruments–I did piano, trumpet and guitar. Ted did piano and percussion (rattling all the dishes in the house for hours), Joe did piano and French Horn. We sang and we played in the Rounds quintet for Christmas and Easter and Reformation Day in church. Everything in our home revolved around music. There were concerts and band camps and recitals going on throughout my childhood. I remember nearly every concert my mom gave at the college.

Mom was a very special lady. One of her students was a very fine pianist but she started having some problems. It was discovered that she had a brain tumor. In the operation that saved her life, the side effects were complete loss of control of her hands. Did she stop lessons? No. My mom became her physical therapist. She designed lessons that helped her student reacquire her fine motor control when the doctors had written her off. That woman worked extremely hard in the face of overwhelming circumstance.

My mom had developed a learning system that could be applied to music and the students that employed this system were soon playing well beyond their peers.

Mom also did arrangements of hymns for our weird band–2 trumpets, Horn, percussion and organ. I know she heard them in her head first. She and my dad had jam sessions with some of the kids from the college. They, too, developed a “feel” for music and improvisation.

Obviously, I’m focusing on my mom in this post. My Dad was extremely important to me, but since I’m a mom, and I’d just come from a mother’s funeral, I started wondering what my legacy would be.

I haven’t really influenced that many people. I haven’t successfully taught that many. Some might recognize my addiction to jams and jellies as witnessed by the cases and cases and CASES of them in my garage. I am not a foodie like my daughter, but I do experiment and 9/10 times, my Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter dinners are unique. The dressing is from homemade herbed cornbread. The pickles are mine, the jelly–mine, the cranberry sauce–mine, the gravy is a French warm, dark sauce, the broth is mine, and the desserts? Wow. But only my kids know this. All of them cook. All of them played an instrument. All of them took ballet.

I have absolutely no idea what my legacy is, if I have one.


doppelgänger (/ˈdɒpəlɡɛŋər, -ɡæŋər/; German: [ˈdɔpl̩ˌɡɛŋɐ] ( listen), literally “double-walker”) is a biologically unrelated look-alike, or a double, of a living person. In fiction and mythology, a doppelgänger is often portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon and usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck. ~Wikipedia

It is widely assumed in Science Fiction that if there are more Earths, they developed the same way and have your exact twin with slight differences. Spiderman multiverse for example has Spiderman as Peter Parker and several others including Anime, female, black, a pig… But in every universe, there has to be a Spiderman.

In many other philosophies there have to be duplicates of every person. Your doppleganger looks like you, but in the nurture vs. nature ideology, may be an evil you, a clueless you, an unimaginative you, a genius you based on your surroundings. What’s more, if you have parents or siblings they are the dopplegangers of your parents and siblings. Well, the parents would have to be wouldn’t they? How else would your doppleganger look like you?


We assume that the only planets that can conceive life have to look like ours, with the same distance from its yellow star, the same land to water ratio, the same weird moon that we shouldn’t have, the same chemical balance that allows our atmosphere to provide the life-giving oxygen (and it has to be oxygen) and protect us from harmful radiation. Hmmm, we seem to be adding so many conditions that the possible Earth-like planets out there in the universe are becoming scarcer and scarcer. So in the billions of planets in the billions of galaxies spread through the universe, there are some millions of planets that might be considered habitable by humans. But we also assume that the evolutionary track followed here on Earth also happens on these other Earth-like planets. What if those planets didn’t have that asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs? What if those planets didn’t have the dinosaurs? What if the dolphins were the species that ruled the earth? or the whales? or the oops…what if they don’t have dolphins or whales? What if the roaches rule the world? (Pictures roach sitting in an office chair…obviously reinvented to fit a cockroach body, typing away in Roachese about the nature of the universe and looking vaguely like me.)

So, let’s assume there ARE millions of planets with life exactly like ours who have invented the same type of machinery, the same culinary skills, the same types of dwellings and even have binocular vision, bipedal movement, a water-based physiology and weird things like different pigments in skin and hair. Why would anyone ever look and think like you or me or your Aunt Mabel? In those stories where people meet their doppleganger, they’re twins, but only slightly different. What if the person that you are now was actually produced by this other planet but in a different time. What if You came about in the Middle Ages (which we have to assume every doppleganger planet did)? What if You aren’t produced until 200 years from now? See?

Now if we go with the Creationist version of this, For Heaven’s sake, why would God make duplicates? Doesn’t He have much more imagination than that? Why would he make Xeroxed copies of what we see here? Does he want the parts interchangeable?

Let’s just assume that multiverse may in fact exist, but it only pops in when someone makes a choice. You choose an apple instead of a candy bar, and poof! another universe splits off. The you that ate the candy bar becomes fat and slothful and an evil you; whereas the you that ate the apple becomes a mother of 5, PTA president, Soup Kitchen volunteer and a saint you. What happens if you eat the apple and then eat the candy bar? BANG another universe. Now imagine 2 billion peoples’ worth of decisions every second of every day… No wonder there are so many galaxies!

For the love of PETE! Quit making decisions! We’re running out of room! There will be CHAOS! CHAOS I TELL YOU!

Worst Song EVER!

Think about it. What is the worst song you’ve ever heard? What were the qualities that made it awful? Was it the chord progressions? The idiotic lyrics? The ridiculous premise? The bad singing? The elementary solos that a 4th grader could do? Now think about this: If this song was so awful, how did you ever hear it? How did it get on the radio? Why would anyone listen to it twice?

I submit it was because the writer or the band leader sold his soul to the devil, and devil said, “Sure! Now I can torture hundreds of thousands at the SAME TIME! AND, bonus, I get your soul.” Granted, his soul was probably really tiny and would go for pennies on the dollar at the discount store, but a soul is a soul.

My Nomination for WORST SONG EVER is “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.

Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
‘Cause I speak of the pompatus of love

Space cowboy? More like space cadet. The gangster of love? He can’t afford to buy it so he steals it. Some people call him Maurice? His name is Steve and he’s so forgettable that people call him the wrong name! Pompatus? OMG He just made up that word. His vocabulary is so limited he needed a 3-syllable word that described love and couldn’t think of any! USE A FREAKIN’ THESAURUS YOU DOOF!

People talk about me, baby
Say I’m doin’ you wrong, doin’ you wrong
Well, don’t you worry, baby, don’t worry
‘Cause I’m right here, right here, right here, right here at home

If they’re talking about him, it’s because they realize he’s a loser. He IS doing you wrong…He’s at home while you’re out working? Chillin’ in front of Jerry Springer and Reality TV because he has no life other than sitting in your living room waiting to pounce on you when you get home.

‘Cause I’m a picker, I’m a grinner
I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker
I sure don’t want to hurt no one

THAT’S Pickin’ and Grinnin’

He wouldn’t pass the audition to get onto Hee Haw…He does No picking and he grins like a 2-year-old that just filled his pants. My guess is that he is no lover because he has no idea what it means to love. He’s definitely a sinner, because so far, he’s exhibited nothing but narcissism and sociopathic behavior. He does what he wants, when he wants, which, in and of itself, isn’t bad unless it interferes with those people around him. He is trying to interfere with this girl… He plays his music in the sun. 1st of all, he only knows 3 chords. He plays outside where others can be inflicted by his lack of melodic sense and innovation. The song is repetitive and mostly focuses on himself. Nobody cares about that! A joker? He’s as funny as Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck. He Smokes! So again, ew. A midnight toker? It means he pretends he’s one thing during the day and sneaks around at night for a buzz. It’s why your couch smells so funky in the morning and all those burn holes in the upholstery. Since he doesn’t want to hurt no one, grammatically speaking, he wants to hurt everyone. I’m not sure that he thought these lyrics out. Or, they came to him sometime after midnight…Draw your own conclusion.

You’re the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree
Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time
Ooh-wee baby, I’ll sure show you good time

Cutest thing…OMG. Look at puppy and kitten pictures. He loves her peaches? Does he realize that when he “shakes her tree” her peaches will fall off? I’m not sure I’d want to engage with someone if I knew that my boobs would fall off. Lovey-dovey… flashbacks of Thurston Howell on Gilligan’s island. So when this girl is at home, he intends to occupy all her time by shaking her peaches off. That sounds really stupid. Now if he were going to show her a good time, he’d take her to a concert or a movie or dinner or something first.

‘Cause I’m a picker, I’m a grinner
I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner
I play my music in the sun
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker
I get my lovin’ on the run.

Wait, check out that last line! So he’s there with this cute girl, hanging around all day, playing his 3 chords, smelling up her couch at midnight, shaking her peaches off, and he’s doing it ON THE RUN? People say he’s doing her wrong and he says “No, because I’m right here at home…” except when he goes on the road again and finds another cute peach girl. What a JERK!

The song continues for another 2 1/2 min and he has absolutely nothing else to say, so he repeats the 1st part of the song. He does change Ooh-wee baby to C’mon baby. He’s still trying to convince her she should make out with him. About this time, she should have called her brothers to beat the snot out of him.

The Chord progression he uses is G, C, D, C and a base run to G again. Over and over and over again. The melody is simple, repetitive, almost but not quite pentatonic so you can’t sing a wrong note and the way he’s got it harmonized is unimaginative. And yet… the oldies station we listen to in the morning will play that at least once between 5:45 and 6:45 AM EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY. How in the Hell did it even get a second playing? How the hell did it get on a “Best” list at all?

This is from Wikipedia:

The Joker” is a song by the Steve Miller Band from their 1973 album The Joker. It is one of two Steve Miller Band songs that feature the nonce word “pompatus“. The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974.[1]

More than 16 years later, in September 1990, it reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks[2] after being used in “Great Deal”, a Hugh Johnson-directed television advertisement for Levi’s, thus holding the record for the longest gap between transatlantic chart-toppers. This reissue of “The Joker” also topped the Irish Singles Chart,[3] the New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart,[4] the Dutch Nationale Top 100[5] and the Dutch Top 40.

My question is: WHY? It has absolutely no value! I’m going to stick to my premise: He sold his soul and Now WE have to pay the interest on it.

Tough to measure

What is the baseline?

This is the first thing that you want to know in anything. A doctor needs a baseline to see what needs to be fixed in the patient. A coach needs a baseline to determine if a player is fit for the game. A teacher needs to have a baseline so they know where they should start their lessons. We have to have a normal.

What is the baseline for creation? Believe it or not, Darkness and cold. Light and Heat had to be added, and its influence is limited. With all the billions of galaxies and stars in our universe, why is the temperature only 2.7 degrees above above absolute 0? Well, could be the lack of matter to transmit or register the excitation of the molecules. They just wiggle until they run out of energy and then go back to sleep. Like teenagers.

Darkness rules space. There are pinpoints of light but it doesn’t illuminate your path. There was the episode of Star Trek where they were traveling through “the Void” and had no outside references as to direction or speed, in other words, no light, even tiny points of light, for a LONG time. The only things in the void are lost ships that prey on each other. They do not believe there is an exit from the void, so they go to their baseline. “We must survive, even at the cost of others.”

So if the normal for the universe is Cold and Dark, why is there light and heat? If the normal for the universe is lifelessness, why is there life? If the normal for the universe is chaos and entropy, how can something so complex and so ordered as a virus, a life form, or a star nursery arise? Why does gravity work? If all the atoms are spread throughout the universe, how is it they clump together to form amazingly complicated and diverse creations? Hydrogen becomes Helium, then a multitude of different elements, each with their own structure and rules. So order and detail and intricacy emerge out of randomness?

But Light and Heat do not balance Dark and Cold. There are not equal amounts. Light seems to pervade in its immediate vicinity, but dark is just on the back side of the planet or the moon. Heat comes from the excitation of the atoms close to a source (such as a star) and it is transmitted by proximity but is easily snuffed when the atoms are isolated. Light and Heat will never be the default. Yet, those are essential in producing and maintaining life.

How do you measure the effect these off-baseline phenomena against the “normal?” The fact that we exist, that we are highly complex, that we communicate at all, that we think thoughts, that we create, that we destroy, that we contemplate our existence goes against all the “normal” that exists in the universe. We shouldn’t exist…and yet, my son took a selfie with his girlfriend and thus proves that we do. You’re reading this blog and considering these words so that proves that the impossible happened. We are wonderfully and fearfully made.

Take a moment and just reflect on the world around you. Isn’t it amazing? It really is tough to measure.