Sunday, April 3, 2011

I am Friday's child

There was a nusery rhyme which was written to help chldren learn and remember the days of the week.  It included the description of the child born on each day from an even older tradition of telling one's fortune by the day of his or her birth.

The oldest version, and the one I knew growing up was this -

Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is loving and giving.
Thursday's child works hard for a living,
Friday's child is full of woe.
Saturday's child has far to go.
But the child that is born on Sabbath-day
Is bonny and happy and wise and gay.  

But some how through the last 20 to 30 years or so, the order of the descriptions have been changed, and now you're more likely to hear that it is Wednesday's child who gets it in the neck.

Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Two other variations are these.

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is sour and grum,
Thursday's child has welcome home,
Friday's child is free in giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living.
And the child that is born on Christmas Day
Is great, and good, and fair, and gay.


Born on Monday,
Fair in face;
Born on Tuesday,
Full of God's grace;
Born on Wednesday,
Sour and sad;
Born on Thursday,
Merry and glad;
Born on Friday,
Worthily given;
Born on Saturday,
Work hard for your living;
Born on Sunday,
You will never know want.

Do you know on what day of the week you were born?  Find out here -
On What Day Of The Week Were You Born?

Info from
Monday's child poem - which child are you?
Google Answers: Likely origin of a rhyme about days of the week
And links on those pages.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Big Lebowski

I'm not a huge fan of TBL, I'd be lost at a "The Dude" convention, but my husband likes it very much, and it intrigues me that so many people love it and that it's said that you see something new everytime you watch it.

I watched once before, I'd say about a year ago, and then once more tonight.  Tonight I wasn't trying to follow the plot but to see new layers in it, different meanings for the characters, and what I've come up with is this.  Donny is us.

At the first watching I thought that the Dude was us.  That through no fault of our own, we get drawn into things that hurt us and put us in danger and put us in positions where we have to make life and death decisions and the only peole who profit are the ones who are rich already and it reduces us to just hoping to be left with what little damaged possessions we still have and our lives.

This time I realized that we aren't actually the Dude, who, through no fault of his own, happened to have the same name as someone who needed a reason to steal some money.  So even though it all seemed random, it turns out that some one was out to get the Dude, The Big Lebowski.  It was all planned.  He was a targeted victim.

Who we are is Donny.  Nice guy, has some kind of life, shows up for bowling practice.  But never knows what's going on because when the information is given out, he is off doing something he lis legitimately supposed to be doing, like bowling.   Then when he asks, some asshole like Walter screams abuse at him about how stupid he is for not knowing something he was never told and for trying in the politest possible way to get that information.

He gets dragged along to see someone who can supposedly solve the Dude's problem because he wants to get an In And Out burger, and is told by Walter that the kid will be a pushover, and then he's told to stay in the car anyway.  Which he does until Walter comes screaming out of the house and starts attacking the Corvette with a crowbar.  Lucky thing Donny did get out because the next thing you know the neighbor (owner of the Corvette) begins attacking the Dude's car with the crowbar.  But then he does get an In And Out burger so apparently everything is okay.

Then, he's at the bowling alley with the Dude and Walter and they go out to the parking lot to find three German guys with weapons want money.  The Dude has 4 dollars, Donny offers up 18 (4 and a half times the amout that Dude has, just because the Dude is his friend and he wants to end this thing peacefully), but Walter insists on making it a fight, and these guys actually come after The Dude, Donny and Walter.

So here's Donny, being attacked and hurt due to something which has never even been explained to him, by people he doesn't know, but whom Walter explains by saying that they're not Nazis they're nihilists, so Donny has nothing to worry about, dying alone in a parking lot not by any particular wound, but by the stress caused to him by his so-called friends and their lives.

That's us, being lied to and abused, then placated by bad, cheap food, then being stressed by events which we have no part in, to the actual point of death.

And then $180 is too much for these 'friends' to pay for an urn to take him from the crematorium.

They intend to spread Donny's ashes over the ocean, but don't take even one second to determine the wind direction which can be easily seen by the way the Dude's hair keeps blowing into his face..

And the Dude has nothing to even say about Donny.  He's just standing there behind Walter, as sort of an uninterested party, while Walter rambles on about Vietnam.  Then Walter opens the coffee can they've so respectfully put Donny's ashes in, and dumps out Donny's ashes so that they blow away from the ocean, behind Walter and directly on to the Dude. And THEN the Dude yells at Walter about screwing up the whole thing, brushing Donny's ashes off of himself as if they were just dirt, because who cares about Donny's final resting place, really, right?  And Walter just apologizes . . . to the DUDE, not DONNY.  And that's the last we hear of him until the Cowboy says he wished Donny hadn't died.  So do I . But God forbid anyone take any responsibility for it.

We Are Donny.  Other people, wealthy, respected people, people we're not even good enough to meet, begin all sorts of machinations, to get money which does not belong to them, and is not meant for them, and they create so much chaos that the stress kills us, and we die never even knowing why.  And then it's as if we never existed. No grave, no tombstone, not even an empty urn to show for ourselves.

Monday, February 14, 2011


          The Stolen Child
           by W. B. Yeats
Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed -
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest
For he comes the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand

Lovely, isn't it?

I'd like my epitaph to be  -

For she comes the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than she can understand

with necessary credit and apologies to Mr. Yeats, of course.

People reading it will probably think I died as a child, before they check the dates, if they do.  But that's okay, because it's true in it's own way.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It Ain't Over Yet

Congratulations World, in Egypt we've actually seen one of the few peaceful overthrows in history.

But now is when it gets scary.

Because the Egyptian people are not backing a particular leader to replace Mubarek.  The country is now in the hands of the military.  Historically, this situation doesn't end well.  So hope, pray, light candles or do whatever you do to positively influence a situation, cause this one needs it.

Politically, the US needs a benevolent, strong, democratic leader with no religious agenda and no ties to al-Quaeda or any other terror group. If it's not too much to ask, it would be great if the leader had the love and respect of the people and was ALSO friendly to the US.  Since the US backed Mubarek, I don't know how far Obama's call for Mubarek to step down will go with the Egyptians.   Let's face it, we looked like rats deserting a sinking ship in that one.  Of course we could've sent in the military to support Mubarek (which would have been wrong and morally bankrupt as far as democratic priciples go) and that would have ended in a lot of civilian bloodshed, yet we didn't.  But I doubt that the Egyptians will think long on that without realizing that we would have pretty much pressed the start button on WW3 if we had, so they can't see that as an act of mercy on the USA's part really.

So what happens now?  We knew the people would never accept Mubarek's VP, he was just Mubarek with a different face.  How long can the military keep peace?  Can the head of the military be the head of the country in the 21st century?  If not then they'll have to organize an election.  Can they do that?  Will the elections be fair?  What if the country is split, especially between two or three candidates?  What will the people do if their candidate is not elected?  Would it lead to more protest?  Worse, would it lead to more violent protest?  The people are united now, what happenes when they turn on each other?

And the real wildcards will be the nominees. How many will there be? Who will they be?  Where have they been?  What have they been doing?  How large of a following can they command?  What issue will they run on?  What if they're anti-USA or more probably, anti-Israel?  We're already at war, though it's easy to forget that.  Can we back Israel if it is attacked?  Will we? Who even knows what the 'right' side of such a conflict would be?  But if we don't back Israel, what will happen within our own country?  Just as many Americans believe that you have to back the government or you are anti-American,  many Jews believe that you must back Israel or you are anti-semitic.  If we back either side in a conflict like that, doesn't it immediately escalte in to WW3 anyway?

The show is just starting boys and girls, so hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and stock up on the popcorn.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Failure and Obscurity

I was watching "Wilde" tonight (movie with Stephen Frye) and I realized that had Oscar Wilde not been a genius, his truly tragic story would have been forgotten.  He would not be thought of as a literary revolutionary and a hero for homosexual, indeed human,  rights.  If it weren't for his circumstances of birth, opportunity to attend Magdalen College, Oxford and his late discovery of his talent for writing with wit and truth, which many say came in tandem with, or as a result of, his late discovery of his homosexuality, he would still have written with passion, loved his wife and children, made a remarkable discovery about his sexuality, fallen in love with a damaged young man with an abusive and sadistic father, gone to jail and survived 2 years at hard labor for that love, gotten out, reunited with the damaged young man for a short time, and not long after died, but no one would know and no one would care.

It wouldn't be a lesson, it wouldn't be an example, it wouldn't be an inspiration.  It would be nothing.  One of the millions of stories of people who are born, live and die leaving no legacy whatsoever.

I thought about the "Diary of Anne Frank"  and "Go Ask Alice", and the many other journals, diaries, letters and papers of people which have given us an insight into something extraordinary as it happened to an ordinary person.  And I thought of all of the billions of diaries, journals, letters and papers which are thrown out every day. 

Why keep a diary if not for the future?  So that someone can look back on your life and see that it had meaning? 

All of these blogs on the internet, whether here, or at LiveJournal, MySpace or one of the thousands of other places, will all be purged one day.  Maybe, possibly, one or two which were written by people either famous or infamous, might be kept somehow for later generations.  But look at how many are typing away, as if they have something to say.  Or rather, as if anyone cares that they have something to say.


When I was younger, I kept everything that I wrote, and I tried several times to keep a journal.  It was, as vain as it sounds, because I thought someone would read it someday.  Either I'd be an actress or a writer, and some biographer would want to know all about my life and how witty I was when writing notes to my friends in sixth grade. 

I threw all of that out years ago now, during the move from the trailer in Leo where Casey and I lived with My Dad during his last days to the apartment where we lived next. Huge box full to the brim with papers, letters, and tiny notes.  All went into the giant trash bin in the parking lot.  In fact I think everything from elementary school and high school went in there, except possibly my yearbooks.

I was in college then, and I believe I thought that once I had graduated, and hopefully gotten a job, I would become a writer on the side, and then if I was ever published, people would know me for my book, or if i was very lucky, books.  Not people throughout history, but at least a few of my contemporaries.

But of course that never happened.  I made a good start on a piece of original fiction, but then I got caught up in school, and the disappointment of my degree being nothing more than a piece of paper in the drawer of a retail bookseller.  Then I became sick and my long, long, chess game with my crazy brain began.

I say chess game because I've always wanted to, but never been able to, learn chess.  And chess is a game of war.  So it's a game I'm constantly losing. 

I've tried to overturn the board and instead turn the process into a chemistry experiment, but I never took chemistry either.   And so I have to rely on others for the chemicals and amounts.  I simply swallow them down and see what happens.

Once in a while, I think I have the formula figured out.  If I take certain pills, eat certain things, do certain things, it will keep my brain happy and I can think and be productive.

But it always breaks down again in the end.  And then on top of being unhappy and useless I have the guilt that I must have done something wrong.  Sometimes I did.  I slept through my alarm, didn't get my pills at exactly the right time, didn't feel like fixing myself something to eat, or was stricken with completely unfounded terror and hid all day. 

That's when I know it's back to the chess game, and I don't even know how the pieces move. 

A lot of geniuses were crazy, but not all crazy people are geniuses.  All crazy people think they're geniuses though, and that's where I come in.  I'm not a genius, in fact I have no talent at all, but my brain wants to think it's genius, so it tells me these idiot things.

I do not have multiple personalities, though I realize it sounds that way from my description. My brain doesn't 'talk' to me.  I do not hear 'voices'.  I simply have my own thoughts and sometimes I can look at my thought process and see how completely ridiculous it is.  Sometimes I look into my thoughts and see how wrong they are. How utterly ordinary I am.  Sub-standard actually. And my telling myself that I am something special is just as wrong as me telling myself that I am nothing but a burden on the world and I should die.

Again, I think it's my own vanity.  I want to be one extreme or another.  I can't stand that I am mediocre as a person and less than that as a part of society.

I always knew that I was sub-standard in many things as a child, but I always thought that when I grew up I could be special in some way. I hope all children think that, otherwise what it childhood for?

But now I'm fourty-four.  Middle-aged.  Actually elderly in terms of my immediate family in which my mother died at age fourty-five and my father died at age fifty-eight.   All this time has slipped by and I still haven't won the chess game with my brain, much less made any sort of an impact on the world.

I did narrow my scope of possibilities as I aged, becoming more practical and realistic as I matured.  By the time I graduated high school I realized that I couldn't be an actress or a singer because I'm overweight and  I didn't want to be Mama Cass. (Yes, I know she hated being known as Mama Cass, but you see what happened to her?  Even now, that's how she's known.  And the rumors about her dying by choking on a ham sandwich?  That will never go away.  When you are fat, all the rest of society sees is fat.  You're not a person.  You have no other identity.  Even Camryn Mannheim, bless her, is still nothing but the champion for fat women.  She'll never be seen as just a woman.  Or just an actresss.  It's not possible.  And I didn't want to be that.)

By the time I entered college for the second time, I realized that writing was not something I was going to make a living at.  The odds of even having a manuscript seen by an editor at a publishing house are astronomical.  So I wanted to be a college professor.  History or theology.  At least that way, I would have a career.  "What do you do?"  "Oh, I teach at the university."   And, within the walls of academia, which I loved, I could sort of BE someone, because I was going to get a doctorate.  I was going to be "Doctor Thomas".  Possibly the head of the theology or history department.

I would have been an excellent professor before my illness progressed to where it is now.  I know that just sounds like more vanity from me, but I really think I would have.  I was good at giving speeches and presentations to a class.  And when I did, the other students found them entertaining or at least interesting.  My own professors commented on it.  I took excellent notes, and I already had a working understanding of the 'office politics' of a university.

But then I graduated and fell into immediate debt and depression over the worthlessness of a BA.  Getting a Master's was out of the question as I was horrified by the loans I'd already taken out.  It's all fine and good to run up thousands of dollars in debt when one is going to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer, and the pay grade will be commensurate to the price it cost to get there, but when your goal is to be a university professor, and not one at Harvard or Yale, then you know that you're just hanging a heavier and heavier sword over your head.

So there went "Doctor Thomas" and a career in books and study.  Then I just wanted to be able to hold down a steady full-time job, pay off my debts and save money to travel with Casey. 

But the holding down of the job, and saving of the money were talents I seemed to be lacking in as well.

So now what?  I know that I am, and always will be, an obscure and unknown person to the world at large.  All I have left is to try to please those around me.  Be a good spouse, pet owner, sister, aunt, friend, neighbor. 

And I am failing at that as well. And that is as small, realistically, as my scope can possibly go.  If I can't even keep a clean house, when I have no job and nothing else to do all day, then really, am I of any use to anyone at all?

Indeed, as Thoreau never said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."   It's too bad that we cannot track down who first did either misquote Thoreau in this way, or who may have actually said this, because it is a sentiment that many, including myself, identify with.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolution

". . . Happy New Year, let's hope it's a good one, without any fear."
- John Lennon

Let's truly have a kinder, gentler year in 2011, shall we?

If you have an opportunity to take advantage of someone who is smaller and weaker, do not take it! Instead, be a guardian for the vulnerable and defenseless. Do whatever you can to minimize the distress and anxiety in the world. It takes much more courage, fortitude, resolution, mettle and valor to be compassionate rather than merciless or apathetic. Take the road less travelled.

Be a protector, not a predator, and no one has to be a sitting duck.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Memories

There is something really wrong with me.  I miss those Christmas commercials from 2 years ago with Joey and Rory.  Casey HATED them!  But I especially liked the last one with all of the people, in what was inferred (to me) to be a very small rural town, together at a Christmas party.  There were all ages, i especially remeber the shot of a little girl, I thinking listening to the lady sing.  Anter there was a tree and presents.

What is UP with that?

In missing it, I find out that it is not available on YouTube, but Joey and Rory are a REAL couple who sing and have albums and everything! 

Life is strange.

I still want to see that commercial again.