Thursday, June 27, 2013

Who would YOU be?

Greek philosopher 101 - fabulous beard.
A friend sent me an email out of the blue with the single line:

"If I were a Greek Philosopher, my name would be Mediocrates."

And oh, how I did snigger aloud.  Because that's pretty imaginative and funny, right?

Got me to thinking.  What the heck do I know from Greek philosophers?  I mean, I get the Mediocrates is a play on Socrates, so that made me feel smart, but to do my OWN play what would I have to know?

Another Greek philosopher, that is NOT Plato, because it's hard to play on Plato, amirite?

Of course I am, so I did the most natural and right thing in the world and Google'd "Greek philosophers" (as ye do) which came up, of course, with this.

That's right, a giant honking list of Greeks who thought philosophistry was their bag, man, and somehow got captured in the annals of history (ew!) to the point that sometimes they reached the pinnacle of record keeping and somehow their birth AND death years were recorded! Yowza!  What a legacy.

Naturally, some were more memorable than that, if only for their names, no play on 'em necessary.  To wit::

Antipater (3 of 'em)
Cassius Longinus
Crates of Athens

And the list goes on and on.  Some so famous as to have been visited by Plato!  Some so infamous as to have, still, the note on their permanent record as 'founded a school; it did not go well.'

Some converted Christians, some deniers of any incorporeal beings, some imagineers of oxen-shaped gods (dreamt up by the oxen themselves), some Epicureans, some cynics or skeptics or Pythagorists, all plucked from the pages of history and arranged for our reading pleasure, in alphabetical order.

Mmm, alphabetical order.  It's what makes sense when nothing else does.

Hey - wasn't it Alphabeticus who said "life is best when Omega Follows Alpha, thus shall it ever be"?

Pretty sure that's right.  I should go look it up.


If YOU had a Greek philosopher's name, what would it be?  Mine's moving toward Spaetius, a little closer every day.

Tiff out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Oh, my.

(Read this in a Scottish accent, please)

I just watched this thing and I loved it and so I wanted to post it to Facebook but I've posted there too much in the last hour and then I remembered I have a BLOG and so am posting it here because it's awesome and so why should a couple of hundred people read it over there when fully TENS of people can read it over here?


Here it is.

Watch all the way through for the twist.  Most excellent.


(Stop with the Scottish now, please)

Are the Scottish very polite people?  I do not know.  Perhaps they are.  I've not been there, and don't know any, and anyhow an N of 1 is a suck population to study, so I wouldn't know even if I did know one.

They must be polite though.  We hardly ever hear about them in the news n' all.

Therefore, I vote we all move to Scotland and proceed to make merry.  I'm sure they will enjoy that.


Spider season is upon us in NC again.  Why, just this evening I had to body-battle a quarter-sized garden spider for a patch of porch while I tried to finish my latest book, and it was BRUTAL.  Several swats with a garden shear didn't dissuade it, the bold beggar, and thus I had to flick it with IMPLEMENTS to get it off my dang porch.  IMPLEMENTS!

Which included a cat.

I'm sorry, Eric.  It was the only way.


 Eric is absorbent, and did not seem to mind.


And that is all.  I'm sure you have better stories to tell about what close calls and daring escapes you'd have recently.  Do tell if you like, but don't forget to do so in a Scottish accent.

Moge het beste dat je ooit zag
Het slechtste zijn dat je ooit ziet
Moge een muis nooit je haverkist verlaten
Zonder een traan in z'n oog
Moge je altijd sterk en gezond blijven
Tot je oud genoeg bent om te sterven
Moge je altijd zo gelukkig zijn
Als we je wensen altijd te zijn

Translation here.


Monday, June 17, 2013

60 to 20

'Never, ever, get famous.  Not even if your 13-year-old self wants it MORE THAN ANYTHING in the whole wide world and would never ever ask for anything in the world ever ever again if she could just be one-name famous, like Cher or Twiggy.  That I not the kind of famous you want to be, ever (EVER!).

That kind of famous is a presence that cannot be escaped until such time as you realize it’s going, and then you want it back.  That sort of fame is the puppy at your heels, or the cat in your face, always wanting something but it’s hard to tell what so you are by turns playful and engaging (for the puppy fame) then aloof and reserved (cat-like fame behavior).  You don’t know whether to court it or kick it, and either way whatever you decide will be wrong as the day is long, especially when the puppy keeps getting kicked and the cat keeps getting petted.  You will be wrong about fame, no matter what.

You think that have the flash of cameras in your face at big events would be great, and it is, but then you’re blinded and everyone is covered in tiny white bulb-burst dots for the time it takes you to recognize the really GOOD gossip columnists from the tacky ones, and by then someone else has taken your arm and is dragging you around down the red carpet while fans try to grab a strand of hair (ouch!) or a picture or get an autograph or stick their slimy hands on your body in places for which they’d be arrested if it lasted longer than the time it takes for the big moolah guards to whisk you away from the bright lights.  You can’t get to enjoy that kind of fame, really, ever.

REAL fame is a sad state; having the world at your fingertips but almost always out of grasp, you know.  If you’re really really good you can balance it for a moment or a season, but it never is fully within your power to control.  Being really famous lasts only as long as it takes for some ‘new you’ to come along and flutter their cheap little eyelashes at some producer who puts them in a show for a tenth of what it costs for you and if they’re any good at all, then BOOM!  There goes fame, bouncing down the hall toward that cheap floozy like a puppy after a kitten.  Then you’re left with nothing before anyone else knows that fame isn’t in your reach anymore.

That’s the kind of fame that’s both a blessing and a curse.  Shining and bright and irritating as all hell when you have it twisting and flipping around you, the best thing ever for a girl for that instant when’s worth it to the crowds; darkly ominous and melancholic when receding into someone else’s future, a mirror no longer reflecting your once-brilliance.

Nope – fame isn’t worth chasing.  Not that kind.  Better to be infamous and live on and on than be famous and be forgotten one the lenses are on someone else.

Guess what I’m saying is, give up the stage and take up the pen, kiddo.  You might not make the front page of the Life style section of the local rag, but you will be able to make all those pretty little birds who do, crow your lines in whatever way you want.   That’s infamy.  That’s fame.  That’s where the real power lies.  Fame can't hold a candle to that.'

So sayeth I, Tiff.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The wild mouse, and other things

Last I'd mentioned, there was a graduation in the offing.  Now it is over, and Thing 1 is out of HS for forever and ever, Amen.

Now he needs to get a dang job and start planning what he wants to or is going to do with the rest of his life.

I have been so much less melancholic about this than I thought.  What's the deal?  I thought I'd be all teary-eyed during the ceremony, but my ability to get teary was more than outweighed by my rage at the morons who didn't heed the words o' the principal and instead hooted and yelled when the names of their special snowflake was called to cross the podium.  Not even PRETENDING to have heard her entreaty for a dignified ceremony!  Pissed me right the heck off, especially when the morons right next to me did the yelling.

Now, 3 days later, I'm reliving the rage, and it I have to say it feels good.  Might be partially stuffed with a smidge of self-righteousness, but that's a mere accent compared with the rage.  Delicious!


It's a good thing the Ex is a professional photographer, because the shots I got are worth nothing.  Someday I should learn how to use that fancy camera I got 2 Christmases ago.  What I'm getting out of it right now is mostly crap, and that's not exactly ideal.


My mom is putting together a scrapbook for Thing 1 for his 18th birthday, and needed some more photos of him to fill out her picture collection.  So, we spent a little time digging through the tub full of them that live on a shelf in my bedroom.  OMG he was so CUTE as a little boy!!  And a little dusty, but that's more a function of my housekeeping than his cuteness.  Once we wiped down the pics there he was, shining like a wee cherub, towheaded and so cute!!  There are a couple of years of school pics from when he was in early grade school that are hilariously bad, and deserve to be framed.  Truly, the boy had to be taught how to smile for photos.  All those baby pics, the toddler yummy years, the young boy school years, so precious!

And boy oh boy how time does fly.  So glad we have the pics to remind us of the journey from shiny young human to this almost-man that is Thing 1 now.


Now a note about how hermit-y I am: a group of folks from work are going to a local ale house for some bonding time and to get to know two new colleagues, and I'm steadfastly not going.  I abhor that kind of thing, for no good reason.  I'm a friendly person, but just really don't like the glad-handing and manufactured jollility that is the business cocktail hour.

If if you ever wondered why I'm not at the apex of corporate culture, I think you've found your answer.

You'll be glad to know that I AM going to a corporate-sponsored dinner next week. BECAUSE I HAVE TO.   Seems that the person managing interactions with outside vendors through a high-profile dossier compilation really needs to meet them if they're coming on-site for 2 days of meetings.  Imagine!


I hope y'all have a faboo weekend.  I'm taking advantage of the rest of my business buddies being at the beer barn by now and am getting the heck out of Dodge.  Well, I'm the getting the heck INTO a Dodge, because that's what Jiminy is, but you know what I mean.  Time to hit the road!!

Tiff out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's here, and I am not prepared

Thing 1 graduates from high school today.  Holy wah!  I am not ready for this, but he is.  His relationship with school is very different from mine, and I'm sure he's glad to see high school done and over with.

OK, I was also glad to see high school done and over with, but for very different reasons.  I was ready for COLLEGE, Booyah!

Thing 1 hopes to go to college, but there are some hurdles.  No matter, the regional community college is a good one and once he has 24 credits done he can transfer those to the UNC system and finish out at a 4-year institution.  Those are bridges yet to cross, because today is about reaching this milestone and celebrating that he actually made it!

There are a group of seniors going out to lunch today (hosted by me and the ex), then the boys are coming over here to hang out.  Thing 2 has to be at the school to get on the band bus by 5, and I'm sure we'll be on the road by 6:30 or so to get downtown for graduation that starts at 8.  It'll likely be 11 p.m. by the time we get home!

So, I'd best get get to get going on all I have to do today - with Mom coming down to witness the great event, my house has to be SPARKLY and the garden must be neat and tidy.  It's a good thing she visits every once in a while; my house is never more clean than when she visits.  :)

Wish me luck y'all.  Twelve hours from now I might well be a snotty blubbery mess.  We'll see how it goes.

Tiff out.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Heavy with the links, this one.

This week's there at A Word A Day is 'words that appear to be misspellings.'  It's a good one, and I've learned some things.  For example, today's word is:

jargoon, meaning  A colorless, pale yellow, or smoky variety of zircon.
Did any of you know this word?   I'd never heard it before, and I'm a big fan of the 'minerals and jewels' part of any natural history museum.

It's also part of the title of a fantasy novel that I've also never heard of.  SO MUCH TO DISCOVER!!!


You do really have to admire a novelist who churns out so much work that their books come in series that are embedded in cycles.  I mean, I know NOTHING about this author or this 'world,' but wow, he must have had some wacky dreams to be able to output this much material on this topic.  I guess that once you start populating your world as a writer you can pretty much do with it what you want and invent whomever you want, and go as far or back into its history as you want, so maybe it's NOT as amazing as I first thought, but wow.  Series embedded in cycles, layers of organization and forethought and planning.

It's is for this reason that I am not, currently, a well-known author.  All the forethought and planning, who has the time?


I've been doing a LOT of reading lately.  Mostly memoirs, with a random novel or 2 thrown in.  Some were better than others, naturally, but all were read cover to cover with no skipping around (a common ploy for me) and no reading the end to see if I want to read the rest (also common for me).  I'm out of practice with the reading, but am trying to bring it back as a 'thing' I do, an escape, a means of learning, a hobby.

Also, as a result of some of those memoirs, I feel MUCH better about myself (and especially how I was raised).  Holy wah, the life some people have led!  I feel really really bad for the author of "Lies My Mother Never Told Me," because if her mom was even half as bad as she says, that woman was a true monster and deserved none of the love and attention her daughter so desperately gave her.  A decent book, with the story being stronger than the writing (and the author is an acclaimed novelist, so what is up with that?).

Also good, though slow-ish to get started and too quick to end, was "There's a (Slight) Chance I Might be Going to Hell" by Laurie Notaro, who is better known as...a memoirist.  She uses as very odd mechanism to wrap up her novel, but that shouldn't put off anyone who wants a breezy read with some VERY funny bits thrown in.

Next up this "High on Arrival" by Mackenzie Phillips.  I cannot WAIT to find out what her story is all about and where she is in her journey now.  I do hope there's some delicious name-dropping done!

So, you read any good books lately?  Do tell.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

What a grim little afternoon

It's really really weird when, while in the middle of doing something normal, like getting your lunch at the company cafeteria, it becomes abruptly clear that what you're seeing is, well, not much.

And when it feels like you're not in control of ambulating and do it though sheer force of will, that's weird too.

Welcome to yet another in a series of migraine auras, brought to you by my brain.

Today's variety took a bit longer to resolve than normal, and even with 400 mg ibuprofen and 4 hours of recovery time, the headache (which I don't normally get) still lingers.

However, I'll take slight headache over the 'when I look at myself in the mirror I can't see my left eye' sensation.  Thank God the aura is temporary, it's some small comfort while waiting out the wash of neurotransmitters and mystery chemicals that, for a half an hour, remind me that I'm really not the one in control.  This consciousness is a fragile thing!


Rather like this.
In other news, there's an onion flower on our kitchen windowsill.  It looks like a firework, exploding slowly into a big white puffy ball of individual blooms.  So pretty.  This one stalk has been in the blooming process for a couple of weeks now, so it's a good long show.

No, it doesn't really take much to amuse me.

And such a good deal - free from the grocery store (because I let an onion grow, undiscovered in the back of the pantry, for who-knows-how-long). 


This is for all my lapsed bloggy buddies - a birthday request (as it was my birthday a few days ago and I didn't ask for anything from you, which really ought to change): write a post, then put a link to it in the comments here.

I 'made the rounds' of blogs today, and must say I'm largely disappointed in your output.  What is this new trend of not posting for days and weeks and MONTHS at a time?  That can hardly be considered to be 'blogging'!  Bring back my breaktime amusement!!  I LONG for your stories and am utterly saddened by the penuriousness with which you dole out the gold that are your witticisms, insights, secrets, and recipes.  Crack open your brainpan and let a heaping helping fall onto the page for us to drool over, won't you?

 Also, if you've recently made your blog by invitation only, please consider adding me in as an invited reader.  I can keep a secret and will comment.  Because that is what it's all about, eh?  I look forward to reading what you WILL BE WRITING.

Hope y'all are keeping well and enjoying the longer days of June - Tiff out.

[PS - another gigantor helicopter just flew overhead - is there an invasion on that I wasn't aware of??]

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I see people

I see those I used to know

I see those I used to sleep with

I see those I used to work with

I see those I used to play with

I see those I used to sing with

I see those I used to dream with

I see that who I used to be.

I understand more now than I did then.

Tolerances, boundaries, limits, smashed.

There is no tomorrow, this is the day.

Me is Now, I am then and now and future.

All those things, are me.  Partly.

This is the great thing.

I build from here.