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07 November 2005 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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Minnie Driver is seated two seats behind me in business class on a Chicago-bound flight tonight.  Our eyes catch and hold, hers say: "Please say nothing"; mine reply: "What movies were you in?"  She looks travel weary; I feel travel weary.

Fame serves as gentle reminder we are all ordinary and unremarkable when viewed from a distance.

09 November 2005 - (Comment)

Brilliant!  Thank goodness for rational folk.

13 November 2005 - (Comment)

Just two weeks after Oz came home, his kidneys failed.  He remains in the emergency pet hospital while the vets try to determine why. 

No one knows how old Oz is, nor his medical history.  I do know Oz has about a dozen fans who fell in love with him at first meeting.  We're keeping our fingers crossed and I pulled my Lucky Virgin Mary Low Rider Shirt and Rhinestone Eyeglasses out of storage.  Religious iconography is always appropriate even if ineffective.

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15 Novembrr 2005 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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I scoff at the poorly educated zealots who flock to images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary found in spots of public restroom mold or in sweat stains on the back of cafeteria worker uniforms.  But today I find myself wondering about the power of religious images.

I lied when I said I took my Lucky Virgin Mary Low Rider Shirt from the closet on Sunday.  In fact, it remained on its non-wire hanger.  Even so, just mentioning this polyester vision seems to have more power than twenty votive candles or a Republican senator.  Less than forty eight hours after I remarked about the garment, the veterinarian announced Oz has returned to health and Crazy Helga appeared across the street, sloshing in the rain and cursing at her neighbors.

Both miracles have rational explanations.  The dog received expensive medical care at The Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital.  And, Helga was released because Maine prohibits holding any mentally ill person against their will - provided they are medicated and not an immediate danger to others. 

Rational explanations, however, are currently out of fashion - like goatees for men and women with hairy upper lips.  In most parts of the world, two signs like mine appearing on the same day can only mean the end is near, God is displeased with homosexuals, or it is time for another Jihad.  Your interpretation may vary based on your headdress and Holy Book of Choice.

As for me, I'm thinking of taking the Lucky Virgin Mary Low Rider Shirt to Washington, D.C.  If it brought one crazy person back, maybe it can make another go away.

P.S. - Given the extraordinary powers of this shirt, it would be a sin not to share.  Images of the shirt, individually numbered and authenticated by me, are available for the faithful.  While I cannot guarantee miracles, I can promise the pictures are priced at just $19.99 each.  Hope is not free, but it is affordable.  Order today.

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23 November 2005 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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"Do you miss your life in San Francisco?"

It is snowing today - the first snow of the season.  I awoke this morning after a sound sleep, the only sound in the house was the ticking of the steam radiators.  The cats and I look out the window, I watch the slowly falling snow while the cats dance in an attempt to catch an illusive flake. The Great Cat Koan:  where is the flake I just caught beneath my paw?

People, especially Californians, and even more so San Franciscans, often ask how I like Maine and more importantly, when I intend to return.  The most often cited concern is weather, followed by a disbelief that anyone would want to leave San Francisco.

I've wandered about the face of our planet, perhaps looking for a perfect location, perhaps hoping to find a secret exit door.  I found neither.  I did discover that no place is really sparkly-shiny.  Each spot on the planet has both limits and beauty, the later is often only visible if you stand still long enough to see it.

The difficulty in standing sufficiently still to observe beauty is that it requires us to be present not only with the world but with ourselves.  The hidden, dark bits of ourselves float to the surface as readily as the sparkly-shiny bits in this silence. 

I loved living in San Francisco.  I love living in Maine.  Yes, it is colder here, but this is a small admission fee for a world where seasons are more vivid than any camera can capture. 

If I leave Maine someday I am not inclined to return to California.  The duration of my all-attraction pass to the planet is growing shorter and there are so many place I've yet to see.

The weather report promises three inches of snow tomorrow.  Watch it live by clicking here.
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A somewhat related note:  On Monday night I dined with Mark, another of the San Francisco diaspora and a brilliant conversationalist, while we were both back in California for business.  Walking to the restaurant, we passed a man holding a placard that read "Jesus Loves You."  It must be true, I commented to Mark, if someone took time to write it on a sign.  If Jesus loves all of us, does that make him polyamorous? 

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27 November 2005 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)

Hey kids!  For a very limited time, test drive the brand new Sister Betty Live Camera!  You are in control and can choose what you see. Click here to try snooping in my office using this nifty new device.  (This camera requires ActiveX.  Click here for instructions how to enable ActiveX controls.)

If you cannot see the camera live, you can click here for an hourly snapshot.

The original Sister Betty Live Camera is still watching Crazy Helga.  You can see it by clicking here.

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30 November 2005 - (Link to this entry) (Comment)
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As reported by the BBC:  "The problem with science in the public realm is this:  very complex science is conducted by very educated people using very specialized terms.  The results are announced in press releases which must be crafted by people trained in media, not science.  These press releases must be written in a way to translate something the author doesn't understand into terms understandable to people who do not understand science."

Admittedly, I am quoting from memory; the essence is there.

Two unrelated topics:

Crazy Helga is back and yesterday graced the neighborhood with new "Pro-Life" signs.  Helga was intent my new assistant see the signs as she chased him across the street and my lawn.  There are now two Crazy Helga Live Cameras, including one you can control via the Internet.

I am off to Australia shortly for Road Trip 2006.  Watch in January for another Road Trip.

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