Monday, December 28, 2015

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens Christmas StoriesCharles Dickens Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“...Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!”

“...the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave,”

“... twenty pair of partners; people who were not to be trifled with; people who would dance, and had no notion of walking.” - Fezziwig's Ball, A Christmas Carol

Ghost of Christmas Past: “He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money; three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?”
Scrooge: “It isn't that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up; what then? The happiness he give is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

“This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” - The Ghost of Christmas Present, A Christmas Carol

I saw three or four different film versions of A Christmas Carol this year; all very good, but all left out some wonderful things. Only by reading the original do you get the full benefit of Dicken's prose and wisdom.

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Monday, December 21, 2015



noun: harsh criticism or censure.

"Palmer said he would not have shot Cecil if he knew the lion had a name. His dental practice closed temporarily due to vociferous protests, with the opprobrium prompting regulators to look at new ways to curb trophy hunting."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


\ˈse-jə-ləs\ adjective
1:involving or accomplished with careful perseverance <sedulous craftsmanship>
2:diligent in application or pursuit <a sedulous student>

"Miss Bartlett sedulously denied disapproving of any one, and added: " I am afraid you are finding me a very depressing companion." - E.M. Forster, A Room With a View

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Word of the Day



adjective: showing a lack of courage or determination; timid.

"But you always were a bull-shitter, Ollie, you pusillanimous little cock-stain.” - Neil Gaiman, Black Dog

Monday, December 07, 2015

Quotes from Brave Enough

" Reading Brave Enough several times in a row alters the molecular structure of your cowardice." - Theo Pauline Nestor

" Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. That nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part it worked. Every time I felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid." - Cheryl Strayed

“Right before [the movie] Wild premiered… I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘You are not allowed to think anything negative about your body, your weight, or your looks anymore. If you think those things, push them out of my mind.’” - Cheryl Strayed

“Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.” - Cheryl Strayed

“The first question I have them answer is ‘What’s the question at the core of your work?'” she said. Then she shared that hers was “How can I live without my mother?” She said that after her students form this first question, she asks them to come up with a second question–a universal one that asks “What question are you trying to answer for others?” Cheryl said that the universal question for her work has been “How do we go on when we’ve lost the essential thing?” The second question, she explained, is how the work becomes not just about the writer but about everyone as “we’ve all– at some point in our lives–lost the essential thing.”

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Have Courage

" Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." | Victor Hugo

Fear & Faith

" Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free." | Shannon L. Alder


" Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." -  H.G. Wells

Monday, November 30, 2015


\ˌin-fi-ˈli-sə-təs\ adjective
:not felicitous: as
a :not appropriate or well-timed <an infelicitous remark>
b :awkward, unfortunate <an infelicitous moment>
— in·fe·lic·i·tous·ly adverb
" That book was “La Petite Poule d’Eau” (“The Little Water Hen,” the name of a river), translated rather infelicitously as “Where Nests the Water Hen,” which makes it sound Victorian and poetic. Which it isn’t." - Margaret Atwood

Cat Sitting

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I hung out with the kitties at Villa de Fanta while Steve and Craig were out of town. We had a good time besides the no cable and not being able to play movies.

I'm a bit worried about Stella. She got down from the ottoman only a few times. I ended up taking food and water in to her.

Spanky got really cuddly. He got all up in my face to be petted, purring away the whole time. He also sounds just like Simon's Cat on YouTube.

After petting Spanky Bubba came over and they all hung out with me on the couch for a while. I hadn't brought many clothes with me so Sunday I borrowed a shirt of Steve's.

The Grinch

November 25th, Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I ushered The Grinch at the Old Globe for the first time. It was so much fun. I worked with a good guy who was ushering for the first time. He did great. He was really on top of getting booster seats for all the kids, always 2 steps ahead of me.

The show was great and the audience was a lot of fun. They even applauded the "turn off your cell phone" announcement done in a Dr. Seuss rhythm.

Release the Old

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Surround Yourself

Selfie in a Borrowed Shirt

This Thanksgiving weekend I'm cat sitting at Villa de Fanta. Today's Sunday and I'm picking Steve up at 9:30. I didn't bring a change of clothes and the shirt I've been in is a little ripe. So I borrowed one of Steve's.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes.
" And he reaches his fullest jeremiad fervor when condemning the black quietist slogan, "You have to be twice as good to get half as far," or describing the alienation he feels as an atheist at a prayer service for a murdered friend." -


a word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated. For example, Washington is a metonym for the federal government of the US.
" The house in the novel's title sits on Detroit's Yarrow Street, and we are introduced to it long before the city attains its current status as a metonym for urban decay." -

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


" Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Do better.  Rise above. Become so engulfed in your own success that you forget it ever happened.” – Donald Driver

Monday, November 16, 2015

We Cannot Trample Upon the Humanity of Others

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.” - Chinua Achebe

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Oldest Boy

Today I had two theater events. After 'As You Like It' I went to the Lyceum Theater in Horton Plaza for 'The Oldest Boy'. The ticket was complimentary offered to Mama's Kitchen volunteers. The play is based on the true story of the 3 year old son of an American woman and a Tibetan man, living in the states, who is the reincarnation of an important Tibetan Buddhist teacher. The boy was portrayed by a puppet with 3 puppeteers. The play included lots of Tibetan music and dance and was really great.

As You Like It

Ushered 'As You Like It' in the White Theater at the Old Globe tonight. It was their MFA program. All of the cast where their graduate students. I ushered row 4 and got to watch the play from the second row in section 5. It was a very good, fun production and I enjoyed it a lot.

This was also the first time I put on my new black jacket and black tie. Amazingly my tie went on right the first time. So I took a quick selfie in the restroom before we had to take our positions. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


: to complain loudly or angrily
:to utter or send out with denunciation
:to send forth censures or invectives

"I have friends who fulminate and bark and explode in frustration because people do not know the references, do not know what is being pointed at, have forgotten authors and stories and worlds." - Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning

Monday, November 09, 2015

Fall Colors

Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle.

Love after Love


The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

∼Derek Walcott

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Art of Peace

The essence of The Art of Peace is to cleanse yourself of maliciousness, to get in tune with your environment, and to clear your path of all obstacles and barriers.

If you have not
Linked yourself
To true emptiness,
You will never understand
The Art of Peace

All things are bound together harmoniously; this is the real law of gravity that keeps the universe intact.

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the highest peak, and the deepest ocean, empty of all limiting thoughts.

As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.

Never fear another challenger, no matter how large;
Never despise another challenger, no matter how small.

If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing, Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.

All of life is a circle, endlessly revol;ving, and that is the center point of the Art of Peace. The Art of Peace is a seamless, inexhaustible sphere that encompasses all things.

When your eyes engage those of another person, greet him or her with a smile and they will smile back. This is one of the essential techniques of The Way of Peace.

A true warrior is always armed with three things: the radiant sword of pacification; the mirror of bravery, wisdom, and friendship; and the precious jewel of enlightenment.

From The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens. © 2002 by John Stevens.

Eat Pray Love

“Just as there exists in writing a literal truth and a poetic truth, there also exists in a human being a literal anatomy and a poetic anatomy. One, you can see; one, you cannot. One is made of bones and teeth and flesh; the other is made of energy and memory and faith. But they are both equally true.”