Just before his grandmother died, she told him stories about her grandmother. Her grandmother had gone across America in a covered wagon, traveling from the Appalachian Mountains to Seattle. It’d been a long and bumpy journey. She didn’t remember how long it took. She didn’t like it there, so she took the train back. It was hot. Black smoke and cinders filled the car whenever they opened the windows for a breeze, so they kept the windows closed and dripped with sweat.

His father heard the story and and remembered his father telling him about driving a Chevy station wagon across the United States. They’d started in Indiana, where it was raining, and drove across the flat plains of corn to the towering Rocky Mountains and up them, and down into California. It took five days to reach San Francisco. They stayed in motels every night. There was a swimming pool at one. Gas was less than two dollars a gallon.

His father’s brother remembered flying from San Francisco to Washington, and how it took almost a day to get there. He remembered looking out the window and watching the ground roll past as the engines roared and the plane climbed into the sky. He remembered the clunk of the wheels going up into the aircraft’s belly, and the change in the engines’ whine, and the wisps of clouds slipping past the windows. They’d had to be at the airport a few hours early, and then they stood in line to check their bags, and stood in lines to go through security, and stood in line to get on the plane, and stood in line to get off and get their bags.

He’d asked each of them, what’d you do when you traveled like that? Well, they said, we sang, and ate, and talked, played games, read books, watched television, listened to music, slept, looked at the scenery, and met people.

He remembered all these things in the time it took him to teleport from his home to the teleport center and out the other end at the moon colony. His last thought before he glanced out at Earth and went into his meeting was, what he would tell his children in his old age, and how they would be doing what he was doing now?



Between the dreams at night, and the books I read

between the remembered movies, and the songs that I recall

between the conversations I have, and those I overhear

between the places I’ve visited and the places where I want to go


Between the thoughts about the world, and hopes and despair

between the people I watch and the events I see

between the need to think and the impulse to write

between the steps on my walk and the cups of coffee


Ideas come between the seconds

and the only relief is to write like crazy

at least one more time.


Floofgress (catfinition) – a cat attack; an aggressive cat.

In use: “She thought that when he rolled on his back and presented his furry tawny belly that it was an invitation to give him a belly rub, but her motion to do it started a floofgress.”

Monday’s Theme Music

Blame today’s theme music on a cat.

I was administering a dose of hairball malt. Being of a loving, but perverse and distrustful nature, the cat fought, and the malt ended up on his paw. He tried shaking it off. I told him, “Lick it off, lick it off.”

From that moment, Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” mindjacked me. The beauty of the song is its malleability. All manner of phrases can be inserted and employed for the song’s lyrics. For instance, when you’re driving and encounter a rude driver, you can sing, “That driver is a dick, dick, dick, dick, flip him off, flip him off.”

Or you can just play with the words. “Bakers gonna bake, bake, bake, and the bandage is gonna stay, stay, stay, rip it off, rip it off.”

From my head to yours, from 2014.

My Dirty List

Time for a small vanity project (as if every post made on this blog isn’t a vanity project, right?).

I think everyone has certain movies that they love to watch regardless of others’ ratings and reviews. It’s our dirty secret.

Here is my dirty list. I’ve seen each of these movies at least a dozen times, and have a few of them on DVDs, but I still watch them when they come on. Some of them don’t come on much any more, because they’re old, and in black and white, and a few of them depressed people.

The list isn’t in any order. Each movie has several particularly favorite scenes. Thinking about those, I realize they usually come at the movie’s end. IMDB helped me with the quotes because my memory isn’t that good.

Unforgiven (1992) – “It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.”

Fail Safe (1964) – “You learned too well, Professor. You learned so well that now there’s no difference between you and what you want to kill.”

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – “I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn’t believe anything.”

A Christmas Story (1983) – “Oh, fudge. Except I didn’t say fudge.”

The Great Escape (1963) – “Cooler.”

Tropic Thunder (2008) – “I know who I am. I’m the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude!”

Being There (1979) – “It’s for sure a white man’s world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I’ll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th’ ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you’ve gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook!”

No Country for Old Men (1997) – “What you got ain’t nothin’ new. This country’s hard on people. You can’t stop what’s coming. It ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.”

On The Beach (1959) – “The trouble with you is you want a simple answer. There isn’t any. The war started when people accepted the idiotic principle that peace could be maintained – – by arranging to defend themselves with weapons they couldn’t possibly use – – without committing suicide. Everybody had an atomic bomb, and counter-bombs, and counter-counter bombs. The devices outgrew us; we couldn’t control them.”

Fifty First Dates (2004) – “Sharks are like dogs, they only bite when you touch their private parts.”

Bladerunner (1982) – “Time…to die.”

Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957) – “Are they both mad? Or am I going mad? Or is it the sun?”

Love Actually (2003) – “A tiny, insignificant detail.”

Men In Black (1997) – “No, ma’am. We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we’re aware of. May we come in?”

The Dirty Dozen (1967) – “I reckon the folks’d be a sight happier if I died like a soldier. Can’t say I would.”

Doctor Strangelove (1964) – “Well, boys, we got three engines out, we got more holes in us than a horse trader’s mule, the radio is gone and we’re leaking fuel and if we was flying any lower why we’d need sleigh bells on this thing… but we got one little budge on them Rooskies. At this height why they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain’t gonna spot us on no radar screen!”

What of you? Andy dirty secrets about the movies you watch again and again?





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