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I was so happy to open the second of Mary Doria Russell’s novels, Children of God, and find Emilio Sandoz there!  He was the main character in her first novel, The Sparrow, and I’d come to care about him.  Mary grabbed me and reeled me in right from the start of Children of God:

Sweating and nauseated, Father Emilio Sandoz sat on the edge of his bed with his head in what was left of his hands.
Many things had turned out to be more difficult than he’d expected.  Losing his mind, for example.  Or dying.  How can I still be alive? he wondered, not so much with philosophical curiosity as with profound irritation at the physical stamina and sheer bad luck that had conspired to keep him breathing, when all he’d wanted was death.  “Something’s got to go,” he whispered, alone in the night.  “My sanity or my soul…”






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Begin with a few weeks of emotion, knowing that some beloved family members will soon move far far away.  Be stressed about the future of your child.  Add the anguish of a widowed friend.  Increase that with a best friend’s sad stress.Watch Things We Lost in the Fire.Then listen to the radio as Corporal Arnal‘s mom speaks about him at his funeral.



This video makes me feel good.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

“What are these humans doing?  Dancing.

Many humans on Earth exhibit periods of happiness, and one method of displaying happiness is dancing.

Happiness and dancing transcend political boundaries and occur in practically every human society.  Matt Harding
traveled through many nations on Earth, started dancing, and filmed the result.

The video is perhaps a dramatic example that humans from all over planet Earth
feel a common bond as part of a single species.  Happiness is frequently contagious — few people are able to watch the video without smiling.”

Thanks to Jen.


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repetunitis AKA melodymania AKA involuntary musical imagery

Word Spy has it right:

Nearly everybody has been mentally tortured at one point in their lives by an “earworm” — a tune that keeps repeating itself over and over in their heads.

Mental torture! Anguish! Misery & agony!
…well, okay, how about really really annoying?

WIRED claimed in its June 2008 issue:

Getting “Eye of the Tiger” stuck in your head in the result of a glitch in your auditory cortex.  This part of your brain processes sounds and stores them for later recall.  It powers up and can start crooning uncontrollably after hearing just a few notes of a familiar tune.  Want it to stop?  Listen to the whole song or do some math.

I was excited to read about a way to get rid of an earworm!
But these ‘solutions’ didn’t work for me, dang it.
Of course, I was creating my own math problems… maybe I should have grabbed a textbook or worksheet.

Today it has been a Captain Hammer song, Everyone’s A Hero In Their Own Way but for a few l-o-o-o-o-ng weeks it was Bobby Darin’s Irresistable You.  For the past month, it has been Hello Dolly for 24 hours after every Kinetic Swing practice because it is our new Shim Sham song.

Hieu Tran Phan suggests that “research also indicates that people who get the most earworms tend to listen to music frequently and have neurotic habits, such as biting pencils or tapping fingers,”  which sounds to me like he’s blaming the victim!

Laugh if you must (yeah, I suppose you must), but I used to do a lot of DDR since it was a way to be active that I didn’t actively hate.  But I had to give it up because the songs (Brick House, Tough Enough, Wherever You Are, Love Shine, Monkey Punk, Rubberneckin’) got stuck so deep in my brain that they were pushing out any useful stuff in there.  So, earworms actually have a negative effect on my physical health as well as my mental health.





Deck the halls with… no, that’s not right.  We’re decking in the back yard, not in the hall.

I’m so thankful that MrSwiv and I enjoy doing this kind of work together.

One thing about this project: there has been entirely too much screwing and not nearly enough hammering.  Drag your minds out of the gutter and hear what I’m really saying!  I expected a lot of satisfying hammering when building this deck, but apparently nails are not advised; screws were recommended.  I am disappointed.

2008 07 19 0002

It only looks like it has eight legs.  It is not a spider.
Lyndon had to create those stringers himself.

2008 07 20 0003


We got the stairs laid yet today; just need to face them this week.  And return all the unused lumber.  And take a trailer-load of scraps and junk to the dump.  And then have a drink out on the new deck. 




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Every so often I try to eat more food that is good for me.  It is very trying, since I am a carboholic who quite likes processed food.

I went to the grocery store on Tuesday and spent $32.03 on fruits & veggies:

  • bananas (were overripe before 36 hours had past)

  • red grapes (delicious!)

  • green beans (eaten)

  • cauliflower (eaten)

  • fuji apples (unfortunately dropped at home; now bruised)

  • romaine (untouched in fridge)

  • english cucumber (untouched in fridge)

  • sugar snap peas (1/4 eaten)

  • mandarin oranges (some have been sweet, and some sour)

I brought it all home and set to the work of eating it throughout the week.
Why should eating be work?
Is it even possible to retrain this mouth/stomach to want to eat food that is good for me?

Gotta go – there are Ding Dongs in the other room, calling my name!


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2008 07 06

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